In addition to being delighted by our new president-elect, I am delighted by the creative visions and voices that have emerged throughout the campaign and afterwards. People are on fire. I love it. Early on before the primaries, the syndicated columnist and political commentator Mark Shields pointed out a major difference between Hillary and Barack: Information versus inspiration. “If you’re looking for information, you want Hillary; if you’re looking for inspiration you want Obama.” In my opinion, inspiration is much more important than information.
Information is dry, dead. There is no energy to it. You can always have information. You can’t always have inspiration. Inspiration must be cultivated. We have to continually create conditions where inspiration can live, breathe, and thrive. And without inspiration, we have nothing. No change, no life, no transformation, no creativity. Life is flat, one-dimensional. Nothing happens without it.
Since you’ve probably already read Alice Walker’s letter to Obama that has been floating around the internet, I’ll just provide some of my favorite snippets: “…you [Barack] alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance…cultivate happiness in your own life…We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors.” (love that line!) She ends with: “And your smiles, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.”
This is inspiration. It’s passed from one person to the next. May it continue to thrive.