I am not an Americam citizen. Not even close. I do not, have not nor do I plan to live in the United States. I am a proud Canadian and while I love Canada very much it has been one of the great privileges of my lifetime to, even from afar, watch President Barack Obama in action.
It never ceases to amaze me how President Obama can maintain not only a sense of calm but an air of civility, purposefulness and grace even in the face of the most demanding job on earth. Not only a demanding job but one coupled with the regular absurdity, degradation and downright mean spiritedness that he faces daily, hourly, minutely.
Now, having never met the man, it is impossible to say how many cigarettes he smokes, stomach ulcers her may be developing or heart palpitations he experiences in a day but somehow, even without knowing him in any way other than through television and other forms of media, this seems highly unlikely. Despite being called a liar, having his birthplace called into question, having it stated that it was the mission of some to “destroy” any policy he attempts to put forth or having being close to him being likened to being near a tar baby, President Obama has never wavered. He remains steadfast, solid, as any good President or, more importantly, person hopes to be.
He seems to have found a way to not take things personally, to rise above the fray and to actually live the words of Rudyard Kilping by keeping his head when it seems as though all others are losing theirs.
At the beginning of this post, I said that it was one of the great privileges of my lifetime to watch a man like President Obama work and live. Being alive during this time means that on some level, even by virtue of watching him work, we get to witness how he conducts his life. A life of integrity, of purpose, of heeding to a call of service greater than himself and of dedication to the truth even and especially when there may be a cost.
So, thank you Mr. President for shining a light on how one may best go about living a life of integrity, purpose, dignity and grace. And here’s to a continuation of that spirit in 2012 and beyond!