Like many of the bloggers I’ve read yesterday and today, I was very impressed with the speech Mr. Obama held Thursday. My daughter and I watched Mr. Obama giving his speech yesterday morning on the Internet. Much of the responses of the bloggers were along the lines, “yes, maybe we dare to believe” variety. What I wonder at this point, is not whether Mr. Obama will be elected president, though I decidedly hope this will happen, but whether Thursday night’s speech managed to finally ignite a flame announcing the arrival of a revolution of social change long in coming?
This avalanche of change has perhaps been a quiet revolution to date, but there is no denying a shift has occurred over the last decade empowering all individuals to break barriers and find voice. And, it is the Americans who have led this revolution. The notion of social participation to entice change began, I believe, nearly a decade ago, in part, through developments in Internet technology.
The IT crash of 2000 signaled a shift in conscious thinking concerning the use of Internet. This shift resulted in innovative ideas such as the Read/Write web (Web 2.0) and open source (e.g., SourceForge) coming to being. Many new innovations followed: micro-financing (e.g., Kiva), global community work (e.g., Nabuur), and grassroots political activism (e.g., Change Congress). All of these programs are powerful in their simplicity and completely, convincingly empowering for anyone willing to participate.
It has been fascinating for me to see how this quiet revolution has evolved. At a time when I found no hope in finding leadership in America as a nation, and Bush/Cheney as a government, when it came to environmental and military practices, I found hope of change through the common folk* already creating it.
And maybe, just maybe, it was necessary for America and the world to experience these last eight years of the Bush/Cheney administration to waken us up to our individual potential for creating change. As Mr. Obama said, “…it is that American spirit, that American promise, that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.”
These last years has already created so much change in my life, I don’t think there has been any time in my adult life where I have learned so much and participated in so many new creative endeavours. Some of these experiences have been questionably disappointing, but overall and most irrevocably they have changed my life and my actions.
(*I’m not sure what is the pc word for common folk is anymore, but let me assure you these common folk are in no ways common, but rather they are heroes of mine.)