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It's Inauguration Day; What inspires you the most today?

By January 20, 2009 - 3:09am
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Such a week this is!

There is an undeniable excitement growing in the nation's capital as millions of people descend on it from all over the country -- even the world -- just to be a part of history as Barack Obama is sworn in.

This will be a day when strangers stop in front of televisions in malls to
watch the inauguration together. This will be a day when conversation stops

in the restaurant at noon and the waiters are asked to turn the television sound up; when we gather around sets in the office to hear the words and see the images for ourselves; when we listen to NPR in traffic, slowing down and turning up the volume to be able to soak in the words, the importance, the nuances of the event.

The swearing-in of the first African-American president is part of it, and is huge. But there is more to it, so much more. It's one of those times -- this open window between past and future -- when all things seem possible.

What most inspires you today? Do you remember feeling like this before?

Add a Comment4 Comments

HERWriter Guide

What inspired me the most is watching my children watching the new First Family and think it's perfectly normal for them to be black. They didn't even get the fact that they are "of color". We get the historical aspect of it and our kids should too. But right now, I love that it's no big deal to them. A black guy leading the most powerful country in the world? Yeah? So?

My children have a female dentist, a female minority pediatrician and now they have a multi-racial President and First Family, containing little girls.

And how flipping fabulous is it that my kids watched everything and have no idea that being powerful, female, black and successful is something special? To my kids, it's normal. It's natural, and to be expected. My children will grow up thinking it's perfectly natural to have a multi-racial President as well as female doctors and other professionals and specialists. The entire *normal* aspect of it is thrilling to me.

January 21, 2009 - 1:29pm

Alison, I'm a baby boomer; We were born between '46 and '64, so we are right now somewhere between 44 and 63, depending on a person's birthday. Really, only boomers who took in early retirement are out of the marketplace right now.

And I have to wonder if boomers will, by and large, retire when they're 65. This is the first generation where most men and women in homes both had careers; where jobs where considered "careers" and where doing what you love was emphasized as a worthwhile way to live your work life. I actually believe that many boomers will work beyond their retirement date if they have jobs that they love, which could leave fewer of us for volunteer work than people might think. It'll be interesting to watch.

January 21, 2009 - 10:16am

Here at the EmpowHer office, we were invited to take a break from work and watch the inauguration together. It was so great to be sharing such a momentous event with my awesome colleagues. Truly an exciting time for all Americans.

January 20, 2009 - 3:25pm

I am inspired by the coming-together of so many happy people! The energy, excitement and hopefulness is truly contagious!

I also think this new administration's demonstrations of civic responsibility and volunteerism (especially regarding yesterday, MLK day, and declaring it as a "day of service") is amazing. Much has been said about Obama asking for sacrifice; while Bush's legacy was to tell us to go shopping. I think Americans want to share their time, even money, with others who are less fortunate. Volunteering makes us feel good. I think there are so many intrinsic rewards to volunteering...everything from donating your time to answer a hotline, or help build a house...to donating money to a worthwhile cause...to helping a neighbor across the street. I do believe we each have a civic responsibility to help out when we can, whether it is once a day, once a week, or once a month.

I was just thinking about all of the baby boomers, who are at the age of retirement, and am wondering why volunteer numbers have not increased with the increase of individuals at retirement age? Any ideas? These men and women were (and still are!) skilled in so many areas, and could provide their knowledge, skills and experience to teach younger generations through volunteer tutoring, or volunteering to teach a workshop at a local high school. Many others can provide free babysitting through local churches or nanny services; others could deliver meals or organize a neighborhood block party to unite families.

I hope that the new administration is not only being "heard" through the younger generations to share their generosity and make sacrifices, but also in the older generations as well!

January 20, 2009 - 1:39pm
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