Remember the movie Jerry McGuire? Remember the part where Rene Zellweger said, “You had me at hello...”
I watched Obama’s 30 minute spot yesterday evening. I watched it twice, listening hard for something I hadn’t heard or didn’t know. Listening with someone else’s ears — perhaps someone who won’t listen, just to try and imagine what they might hear.
Later, I listened to the talking heads banter back and forth about whether it was too much, or too soon, or too expensive. At some point, a screen caption on CNN questioned whether the Democrats were buying the election and I shook my head. They’re so foolish.
He had me at the wheat waving in the wind.
I guess that makes me a willing participant, because if I heard him correctly, he’d like us to be a part of what this country can become once again. And since I’ve never known any of my strongly felt opinions to sit quietly while others, stumbling over their illogical fears and deep-seated issues with stereotypes, feel comfortable expressing theirs, anxiety in their voices, panic in their eyes.
It’s not rational, that behavior, and I wonder what it must feel like to be so entrenched in one’s beliefs that there’s no possibility of change.
I think ultimately, that attitude is what forced me out of my profession. The idea of being surrounded by people who have no vision, who can only think of possibilities that fit inside a tiny box in the corner labeled, “My Life,” and seem to fear not knowing what lies around the next corner exhaust me.
I used to have the energy to argue with them, but I just don’t any more.
I just want to wallow in the wonder of possibility and hope that we all have something amazing ahead of us. Something that will slowly peel the layers off the onion-like fear mongers I hear booing in response to their candidates’ empty comments.
But I will continue to worry about people who insist upon making others’ life choices their own business, and work hard to push others to see as they do — that the world isn’t as diverse as it actually is, and that not everyone should have the same opportunities they’ve had in life — some of which weren’t necessarily earned.
Can you choose your parents? Your country of birth, your gender, your…
But I can choose to keep my mind open and allow that to help form my opinions, even when I don’t care for those I’m trying to understand.