After 8 years of bristling with hot humiliation by the audacious acts of the American federal government, yesterday’s inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Hussein Obama, witnessed by millions in Washington D.C. and billions around the world, felt like reaching a cool oasis – refreshing, uplifting, promising and inspiring. However, we still have a long, hot and dangerous desert to cross to get to the Promised Land.
For far too many years America has lacked strong, visionary and responsible leadership. Like children lacking supervision, we have run amok in our over-indulgence of goodies and our neglect of essentials. Collectively and individually we are in historic debt in pursuit of material happiness even as our souls cry out for that which money cannot buy – meaning, belonging and love for ourselves and one another. Clearly the time has come for Americans to grow up! Or, as President Obama more delicately put it, “The time has come, to set aside childish things.”
Like previous generations that have faced their own winters of despair, the way out of this desolation will take not only strong leadership but our collective action and wisdom to work together at every level. I am inspired by the opportunities that can come out of this crisis to rethink how we care for our elders. I am curious about what you think: How can this national call to service be marshaled into action that can help more elders stay in their homes and connected to their communities?