Monday, 15 February 2016

WITH GRATITUDE ,AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BARACK .H. OBAMA



L-R: The Clintons and The Obamas
Photo Source: internet


Dear President Obama, I greet you in the name above all names. I waited to write to you my second letter after your final SOTU (state of the union) address not as my last letter to you but as a letter of appreciation for the almost concluded two terms of office .Allow me to first express how so humbled to write to a man whose name has been engraved upon the marble of history. I have fortunately had a few days to prepare otherwise I would make very terrible sentences herein. Again, I am lucky to address a man whose kindred spirit is ingrained in equality and the pursuit of happiness. The last time I wrote to you, I critiqued you. Today, I have very deep gratitude for how fundamentally influential you are and will forever be to my Life and I pray to the life of my descendants. I remember well, in the 2007 democratic primaries that shaped the arc of history of the American Dream, I didn’t support you then.Actually,apart from the inescapable thing we have in common,blackness,I didn’t pay attention to you until you beat my favorite democratic candidate then,sen.Hillary Rodham Clinton, a woman of valor.

Onward, you emerged winner of the democratic ticket for national polls. For sure, that’s when you got my undivided attention for the very first time. I respect you for that Mr.President.Insignificant as I am, it took a lot of convicing.Surely, you won me to your side and gave me hope that indeed America needed you. Quick forward; the audacity of hope a speech that you delivered at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Massachutes and Dr.King’s I have a Dream became the most hope triggering speeches I have ever heard. I do not know how many times I have revisited these two speeches. They are surely something an optimist needs to tell to the cynical. As a student of Dr.King’s teachings and ardent follower of his works, I got the audacity to believe that you were the true revelation of his dream. In you; I saw a president; the first black president of the United states of America. I want to say that yes, as punctuated by a repeated phrase ‘I have a Dream’, your words in the audacity of hope and Dr.King’s words became even more meaningful when you emerged winner of the 2008 presidential election.

January 2009, I remember vividly, we didn’t have Dstv at home then but I stayed out for the most part at the neighbor’s to watch the most historical inaugural ceremony in the world so far.That night, while you spoke, I thought about two things: one was how Dr.King would feel if he were seated right there and the other was the wonders of optimism---the audacity of Hope. Along the way, tears of joy uncontrollably found their way down my chin. I sure understood you heartily when you broke down as you gave your gun Violence,therefore.I know what it means to empathise;I have often told my peers here that to not empathize is to create more monsters. Back to that night of your first presidential inauguration, I had for a long time looked around for someone who would be the near equivalent of Dr.King’s oratory abilities; you were proof positive. I know you have heard a more far much worthier complement (from your wife, Michelle) but please allow me to say that you are one of the greatest orators of the 21st century. I cannot elocute as gracefully as you did in 2004 and as Dr.King did in 1963, with ‘I have a Dream’ and the ‘Audacity of Hope’ respectively. Because of you and Dr.King, I have a Dream, the power in the audacity of Hope. A dream that possibly one day you and I shall sit and talk about Hope and many other things I could fetch a leaf on from you.

Away from that, the greatest achievement being becoming the first black president of the United States, the second was making Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton the secretary of state. I remember well, in the 2008 Democratic Convention after Hillary had lost you; while addressing the convention, she and her husband President Bill Clinton called upon Americans to trust you with their vote. I am so certain the 18 million voters that Hillary had to her side in the early Democratic primary, whom she called to rally behind you, were so pivotal in your political career. Returning a favor just after being successfully elected and inaugurated as President of the United States was the most humane way to show gratitude. I am also darn sure it cemented a very strong bond not only with the Clintons but also with the American electorate. As an outside universal supporter, it was and still is one of the greatest politically mature decisions I have seen in my lifetime so far.

Presidency is not somewhere you land and sleep down on some bed of roses. As J Adams once said; “no man who has ever held the office of presidency would congratulate a friend upon obtaining it”. This is surely a very true statement for me all the way. I have seen some of the people I admire as great presidents, those who have served effortlessly, been only paid back my ungratefulness. A very immediate example is you Mr.President.With the ‘vow of obstructionism’ the republicans took after your first presidential victory, your biggest achievement has been being a victor amid all that yammering, fear mongering and bickering, Kudos Mr. President! Also to this, emerging a two times democratically elected president is telling and proof positive that yes you did great in your first term of office. As Paul Krugman put it a few weeks ago; ‘the republicans have successfully failed at trying to fail the President’. If you and read from John 1:5; “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it”. Allow me to toast to a successful president; President Barack H Obama. ;

A former president of the United States F Jefferson once said; “no man will ever bring out of the presidency the reputation which carries him into”. I totally agree. Profoundly, there are those who are disappointed with your almost concluded 8 years of presidency but again, there are those who are heartily thankful. This is two-fold: those that had hyper ventilated hopes and weren’t all met and those that expected you to fail but swam along with the tide along the way. To me, your presidential work and presentation has been very convincing enough to crown you a successful president.Well,you had a few miscalculations in some places but if there is anything the Americans and the rest of the world ought not to look for from you is perfection because that’s looking for the impossible. I have grown up very conscious of this; thankful person is thankful under all circumstances. A complaining soul complains even if he leaves in paradise”. In the word of the scripture; “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”-Luke 23:34 Before I leave this part of the vitriol you have had to leave with, allow me to thank your dear wife, Michelle Obama, for being phenomenally supportive all the way. I remember well, in her 2012 DNC speech she set a pace; cleared blockages you had to deal with right before they even happened. These words, Michelle’s words, always echo at the back of my mind:

“….like so many American families, our families weren’t asking for much. They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success or care that others had much they did. Infact they admired it……..and standing before you four years ago, I didn’t want any of that to change if my husband became president.Well,today,after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I have never imagined, I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are---it reveals who you are….i love that we can trust Barack to do what he says he is going to do even when its hard---especially when it is hard. I love Barack for to him there is no such a thing as ‘Us’ and ‘them’. He doesn’t care whether you are a democrat or republican or none of the above, he is always willing to listen to good ideas. And I love that in the toughest moments, when we are sweating it and there is no margin for error, Barack never gets distracted by the noise and chatter…..” 

Mr. President, you and your daughters, America and the rest of the world are blessed to have Michelle as the first lady of the United States. Especially you, Mr.President.May God bless her phenomenal soul.

As an air of finality, I want to say that I do not write this you as any authority figure but as a very great admirer of your Life’s work and achievements. You have achieved a lot in your almost done 8 years of presidency, they speak for themselves loudly, I can’t repeat them here.My sincere utmost gratitude to you sir for being an authentic,inspirational,sympathetic,empathetic ,loving and caring human being. Your importance will not slide off when you are done with your presidency. I can assure you, you will forever be a towering legend and a beacon in the arc of history of not only the American dream but also, the whole world. You are the true redefinition of Hope. God bless you and your beautiful family. God bless America and; the whole world.
Sincerely,
Grace Abaho,Sr.

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