Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Letters to Ba'rama #1 "Empathy"

Dear Ba'rama:

I have a penchant for nicknames, especially if the name I’m nicking is frequently in my mind and conversations: I guess I’ve a lazy-brained tongue as well as a fondness for terms of endearment. So, Senator Obama, I started calling you "Ba’rama" about three weeks ago. Then, last Monday in Grand Junction, your introducer tripped a bit (It’s OK!) and called you "Ba’rama." Click. As, at the time, I was also mulling over a series of letters to you on my blog, CenterDoug <http://www.centerdoug.blogspot.com/> “Letters to Ba’rama” clicked in as the title, so, there we are.

You handled that little trip of the tongue very graciously: it’s a trait of yours I appreciate, and one, hopefully, I’ll return. I’ve decided, in fact, to appreciate, in the next posts, our common ground, and in this #1 Letter to Ba’rama, your empathy, for I know it’s real: I saw it in your eyes in Grand Junction; it touched me with a frisson of kindred spirit as we shook hands. I complimented The Audacity of Hope. You thanked me kindly. I’d wear a Michael Jackson glove to shield the hand that shook the hand of the next President of the United States, but I’m not into outward display or the future—very tricky ground--and, anyway, the connection felt more “human-to-human” and present moment than hero worship. Empathy touches deeper than that.

You recognize that most of our lives are struggles "of warring impulses, a twining of darkness and light," an awareness that leads to balance and understanding, good leadership qualities. If you can walk in others’ shoes as you did last Monday, you’ve got it made, Ba’rama, whatever happens in November, and I’m very grateful for it. Last night I registered 45 new voters and tonight I'm on the Obama phone bank, to show my appreciation and my longings for a changed America.

Gracias, CD

2 comments:

jlc said...

Do you really think he'll be elected? I keep running into people who like Palin, so I'm paranoid that we're going to end up with McCain/Palin. Why are you so optimistic?

CenterDoug said...

Thanks for your comment, jlc. It's an easy election to get paranoid over, certainly, if we're looking at results (winning/losing "what-ifs")but I'm focused on the man, I know he's a good'un, and that's all I need to know.

We're all our own worst enemies, something Ba'rama intuits; luckily, the other side is proving that principle every day, which works in favor of the best man winning, as well. At least Ba'rama isn't spinning on the issues, but, rather, stands firm on the basic human values we all want to stand for in these fractious times. Gracias, CD