Will nothing change? Or everything?

Senator Obama’s speech today was, I think, one of the most important speeches of my lifetime. I hope people will read it and ponder it – here’s the complete text.
I hope each of us can encourage intelligent and civil conversation on the content of this speech. I feel we’re at a moment where our history could take a different turn depending on how we respond. In the context of “Everything Must Change” – Senator Obama has said things that America desperately needs to hear and engage with.
Here are lines I especially hope we take to heart:

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina – or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.
We can do that.
But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

I resonate so much with these words. Will we choose – as we do so often – to focus on the latest distractions? Or will we go for the deep shift that’s needed in our hearts, our attitudes, our values, our beliefs, our priorities, our purpose, and our vision? I believe we can make the better choice and take the better path. I believe we can.
Andrew Sullivan’s comments on the speech are spot on.

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