Early on Wednesday my phone rung at 6.10 in the morning. Usually an impossibly heavy sleeper, I was wide awake as I reached for the phone and heard the words, ‘We’ve done it! We’ve done it!
Many people have asked me why I was so involved in the
I come from a generation without a cause. I grew up in surroundings where being political was considered a waste of time, where feminist was an insult, not a badge of honour, where Paris Hilton and Bollywood stars were the people we admired. I grew up at a time when my countrymen killed tens of thousands of people in
And then, last year, suddenly, the most powerful country in the world was to elect a new leader. They had elected Bush twice, and the world was confirmed in its view that American voters were idiots, who deserved what they got. The war in
And then things began to change. A woman and a black man. And this woman would have been enough, had it not been for the black man.
I was in the crowd of a hundred thousand that was in
But it was not only for Barack Obama that I followed this election. He was only a part of it. We all watched as he came to embody change for an entire country, and for an entire planet. For three months we watched, as one people, as the thin silver thread of opportunity was grasped by the American people. So many things have gone wrong these past years. We have let down the planet, our fellow men and women, entire nations. We have made so many mistakes. And the worst one was apathy. But in one gleaming moment, we saw the opportunity for redemption, and we took it. We watched as the same people that we had branded as fools for electing Bush made calls, knocked on doors, made decisions, and finally turned out in numbers never seen before to be the change they wanted to see.
And on Tuesday, we watched together as they got what they wanted. They say a people get the leader they deserve. Well, in this case they got what they deserved. They got a symbol of change, of hope for a better future, of a chance of healing. They got a leader they can be proud of and that the world will be proud to follow. And they showed us that it can be done. If we want it, it can be done. Next week there will be another war, another atrocity. There are people whose lives will never be touched by this. But for this one day, we can be proud to be human. Proud to be alive. Proud to be young with the desire for change burning bright within us. Proud to have lived through that night, and proud to belong to a world where these things can still happen.