2:39 PM

In the presence of greatness: First Person

Posted by Prosy Delacruz


In the presence of greatness

Dear President Obama,

Today, as I shook your hand, as I caught your genuine broad smile, from the second row of the California Science Center’s Annenberg Building, I caught a glimpse of your soul in your eyes. Eyes that tell us you see us, eyes that tell us we matter, and eyes that tell us that you work hard on our behalf.

Today, as I shook your hand, I boldly said “ Dream come true, Mr. President! “ You smiled, looked at me, and moved to shake the hands of others. We all wanted our very own precious moment with you.

The first day of spring became the first day of change for my family and with health care reform no longer the burdensome struggle that we must carry from our generation to the next.

It took three long years for me to reach this moment. Two years of working for your campaign took me out of my comfort zone. Yes, out of my comfort zone to reach out to strangers and neighbors in my community and blog about our collective thoughts. It also gave me the inner will that I can relate to all folks, regardless of backgrounds, even to call independents and conservatives in Nevada or Florida and have a dialogue on why I am voting for Barack Obama.

When I got more confident as I did that, I took my skill a bit further in going on television in debating another GOP to vote for you. I may not have convinced him to cross party lines, but at the end of the television segment, he made a promise that he will seek me out and we will do joint projects in the future because he enjoyed being respected as we debated the merits and demerits of his beliefs and mine.

What I learned is to confront my truth with theirs, and from the ability to hold contrasting views, move forward to function. I learned from the example you showed us tonight how to handle the heckler.

Last year, a dream of meeting Miss Oprah Winfrey came true for me, courtesy of friends in the community. With that fortune of seeing her after 20 years of dreaming to meet her in person, this time, I figured, having a chance to meet my President in person should be sooner.

So, it came to pass. I wrote my dreams for the year 2010. One of which included meeting you, Mr. President. In the first week of April, I was invited to buy a seat in Senator Barbara Boxer’s fundraiser. I grabbed the opportunity.

Your indescribable genius is now personified into profound intelligence. Imagine the health care reform -- which used to be a generational struggle -- is no longer our burden, but a generational duty and a right that we can pass on to our children.

Yes, we became each other’ s keeper of optimism, survival joy that at times, became temporarily derailed by the enormous problems we all face, 14% unemployment in California, 30% in South Central Los Angeles.

Mr. President, ask and It shall be given! Another rare opportunity came up. I was invited to be part of the White House Press Pool to say goodbye to my President on Air Force One. I could not sleep at the prospect of meeting you again, Mr. President.

Luckily, I was listed as part of the White House Press Pool. I was in line along with satellite trucks of Channels 2, 4, 5, 7 and 11. Soon, there were 20 of us in line, as early as 445am, waiting for security check-in and to be LAPD-escorted within 40 feet of Air Force One. I had a direct view of the open door to Air Force One. An added bonus, to take a photo of Air Force One, with the sun rising in the background. It was a great symbol for me, an Easter, a Resurrection of New Values of Care, a New Vision of caring for Others, a renewed Social Contract to care for the next seven generations to come.

Mr. President, these two experiences of seeing you in person have now imprinted me permanently, indelibly etched in my memory to last. Just as I wanted to see you with my own two eyes, I was even more blessed to see you in action with your compassionate heart.

Once I had a dream, and I went after it aggressively to elect a good man to the White House, a man of superior leadership skills, a man of compassionate heart and good spirit.

But God had a better Dream for all of us, a vision of hope for our time and a UNITED States of AMERICA, based on a new compassionate spirit, inclusive of others.

Mr. President, thank you for this lifetime of an experience! We see you. Like you, I became truly an American in spirit, in boldness of optimism, in struggle to overcome difficulties and in becoming more wholesome, as you keep showing by your example, as you become our Good Shepherd in leading us a way to rebuild our economy based not just on social capital, but on social trust, transcending our divided past.

Like one teacher/organizer said, Mr. President, we are learning to take turns, we are learning how to merge! May God shower you with His Invisible Grace, that you make VISIBLE through your actions in the White House!


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