<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d11969108\x26blogName\x3dCambridge+Common\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://cambridgecommon.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://cambridgecommon.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-4528793327087001496', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Saturday, August 27, 2005

summer reading

Not that I needed another reason to admire Barack Obama, but this graduation speech that he gave at Knox College in Illinois is yet another example of his ability to articulate progressive, leftist values in the context of history and in stirring rhetoric. I highly recommend reading the whole thing, but take this section after he outlines some of the challenges we face today, for example:
Now, no one can force you to meet these challenges. If you want, it will be pretty easy for you to leave here today and not give another thought to towns like Galesburg and the challenges they face. There is no community service requirement in the real world; no one’s forcing you to care. You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and go chasing after the big house, and the nice suits, and all the other things that our money culture says you can buy. (more in expanded post)
But I hope you don’t. Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks to little of yourself. You need to take up the challenges that we face as a nation and make them your own, not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, although you do have that obligation. Not because you have a debt to all of those who helped you get to where you are, although you do have that debt. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, although you do have that obligation. You need to take on the challenge because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential. And if we’re willing to share the risks and the rewards this new century offers, it will be a victory for each of you, and for every American.
I'm not sure it is essential that Obama reach for some higher office as many (myself included) constantly hope. Don't get me wrong, I hope he has that opportunity. But what he does for the political left is bring both a spirit and a level of intellect that is so badly needed now. If just a few of us read this speech, it helps.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home