Christmas for Barack Obama and His Family

English: Michelle Obama and Barack Obama enjoy...

I saw a news clip of Barack Obama doing some Christmas shopping for his children.  He looked and behaved just like a regular guy.  What an incredibly strong mind and spirit he must have, to have survived his time in office so far and still be as sane as ever.  If anything, adversity seems to have honed his finest qualities.

There’s something about him that reminds me of my father – a core of integrity and honesty.  No desire or need to posture.  People often see that as a weakness, but it’s not, it’s a strength.  Posturing is for bullies and we all know that at the heart of a bully lies a person terrified of their own inadequacies.

Michelle Obama said of Barack once that one of the things she most admired about him was his ability to keep the clarity of his focus and sense of direction when everybody around him is criticizing him, raising dust storms of distractions calculated to cloud judgment and derail sanity.  He just never seems to get lost.

He doesn’t look like a giant of a man, he’s so unimposing, but a giant he is.  Real personal power isn’t noisy or ostentatious.  It’s a quiet thing.  It touches hearts and souls.  It stands out as an anomaly in an over-materialistic world driven by greed, megalomaniac egos and a willingness to exploit and sacrifice the vulnerable.  Thank god for anomalies.  Personally, I’m sick of bullies, they cramp everybody’s style.  And they’re usually incredibly boring.

Barack Obama has been a huge inspiration to me, just as a human being.  Watching him draw from his inner resilience fills me with a sense of awe at what the human spirit can accomplish. He makes it look easy, but I know it isn’t.  Think about how hard it is to deal with one person bad-mouthing you with no justification.  Millions are doing it to him.

And the man hasn’t let them destroy him or turn him bitter.  I’m sure they’ve hurt him but he hasn’t let them sully his soul or his spirit. That’s my kind of hero.  Barack Obama, thank you for being in my world, and I hope that you and your family had a fabulous Christmas.  And if I was American I’d vote for you.

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Love of Coffee and Chocolate – and Intelligent Presidents

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” [Franklin P. Jones]

 “I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can’t imagine eschewing one for the other.”  [Meryl Streep]

“I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts but I don’t see myself being queen of this country.”  [Princess Diana]

Everybody’s got something to say about love, haven’t they?  Well, not everybody.  I watched again some of the BAFTA pre-awards the other night, and everybody went love-gaga for this decade’s British film icon-babe Colin Firth.  I wonder what he thinks about love?  I don’t know, I couldn’t find anything he’s said about it, so I chose this one instead “My singing voice is somewhere between a drunken apology and a plumbing problem.”

Is there any love in there?  Love of humor of course.

Michelle Obama said “Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?’  Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good… You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.”  [ Michael Y. Park. “Michelle Obama’s Secrets to Finding a Great Guy” People.com. 10/28/2009.]

Obviously she’s got something right.  Andrew Romano said of the Presidential couple “… I think it’s the Obamas’ willingness to act in public much how they act in private – open, informal, flirtatious – that has incited most of the swooning.  At the Youth Ball, I noticed the president do something that’s impossible to imagine any of his predecessors doing: resting his head, eyes closed, on Michelle’s shoulder.” [“Our Model Marriage” Newsweek 2/23/2009.]

Love – isn’t it a great thing when it’s the real thing?  Love of truth, love of freedom, love of chocolate and coffee.  Love of intelligent Presidents married to extraordinary women.

Even Einstein had something to say about love: “you cannot love a car the way you love a horse”.  Nicely put.  Not sure what he thought about men and women, though…  Or chocolate, for that matter.  Or American presidents.  But I bet if he was alive today he’d vote for Barack Obama come the elections.