There is much excitement about Barack Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States. It’s a remarkable moment in American history on many levels.
• In America, we select the future leadership of our government with plenty of healthy political passion and debate, but without physical conflict. It’s not unique in the world, but the United States is the world’s template for this kind of transition.
• Barack Obama is the first black American to be elected to the presidency. Enough said.
• Who can remember when any presidency – even John Kennedy’s – began with as much anticipation and hope?
• Who can remember when any presidency began with such great expectations?
It’s that last point that I think is really the most remarkable. As Americans, we have to guard against placing so much expectation on the performance of one person. Clearly there are certain things we expect our President to do, not the least of which is to take the steps to protect us from being attacked by our enemies. And we want our President to lead with a positive and patriotic attitude that sets the tone for the nation.
But as we anticipate the promise of Barack Obama’s tenure as President, Americans should take stock of our own responsibility as participants and producers of our society and marketplace, and as beneficiaries of the bounty of our great land and republic. Let’s spend more time looking inward at our own roles in our future success.
At the core of our national values is the belief in and desire for self-determination. But the wages of self-determination is self-responsibility. Our success as individuals and that of our nation depends more on each of us individually and collectively as a society than on any president. I think Barack Obama knows this. I pray that this will be his requirement of us as he governs.
Tim Berry, President of Palo Alto Software (www.paloalto.com)and long-time Brain Trust member, and I took a few minutes to talk about this on my small business radio program. Listen to our comments and let us know what you think. This one is only about 6 minutes.