Dear President Obama
Looking for Guidance by David W. Stewart
I know you are concerned about the "fundraising race," but may I make a suggestion? Given what happened in Aurora, and the overall lack of confidence in our country's economy by consumers and economists, I think what we need is more of a coach than a lecturer or scolder. I want to know that my president has confidence in the PEOPLE of this nation, not just the businesses. When Mr. Romney said "Corporations are people, my friend," I think he missed the point. It's not that corporations need people's rights, but that corporations need people in order to function. That's what you meant the other day when you said "business owners didn't do it alone." It was not to detract from the work done by those owners, but it also included the work done by their workers, their customers, the workers who built their roads, kept their electricity on...
I know that this country is in trouble, because of the economy, but mainly because we have elected officials who have sworn allegiance to their party and their funders, and not their oath of office. But on a day to day basis, each American citizen has choices that they can make which either give or take power away from that corruption. People want the "old economy" back, but that can't happen. It was like a Hollywood movie set, shallow and weak, but flashy. And like a movie backdrop, it fell apart. But life is not a movie, we have to something strong and substantial. Something that we can work with, and in. That's American jobs, manufacturing, community, and optimism. Without optimism we wind up like the shooter in Aurora, trying to be noticed, in a violent blaze of blood. We burn out, and take others with us. But we can, instead, find a way to glorify hard work, diligence, empowerment and community, people feel safer, more included, and hopeful. When times get hard they can get lost in a positive activity, or find a person to just listen. Each of us is not insignificant, and we need a President who amplifies that idea.
Coming into the Olympics, it will be easy to get caught up in patriotism, but also, get caught up in a sense of "worthlessness." Most of us cannot achieve those great heights of athleticism, but we can make Olympic sized contributions in our own families and neighborhoods. We can help get food for people. We can teach others a skill. We can give a person 15 minutes of time to listen, to sit, or to help them. That may change a person's day, and it doesn't have to cost a penny, or much, if it means buying food.
President Obama, please find that "father" in you that is so kind and supportive for your daughters. Regardless of race, political persuasion, or religion, everyone values honesty, encouragement and guidance, especially if they see it demonstrated, not lectured.
I am writing as a citizen, but also brazenly as a Executive Director of an organization that is trying to walk this walk. Please visit www.northcountrysustain.org and see what we're doing at North Country Sustainability Center,Inc. It's not so much as an educational service as it is a sharing place, an outlet for goods and services, and a way to build a local economy, community and pride in an area, like many around this country, that is overlooked by most people.
We do not need a
lecture, a scolding, or a commentary from a "superior being." We need a coach to say "We can do this." "Look
at your skills and talents, find how to use them," and sometimes a "You dope,
you know better than that! Remember when you did that thing? Do it again. It worked then, it will work
I'm sure you've had great teachers and coaches in your life. I'm sure you are one. Please show that side to us, so we can move through this new reality with more optimism than fear, more confidence than anger. Please.