The Audacity Of Hope

Black-Girls-Talking-620x300Former President Barack Obama has written two books and I believe both he and his wife, Former First Lady Michelle Obama have signed a new book deal as well. I had the chance to read “Dreams From My Father” and I found it to be an awesome tribute and reflection. I am inspired by the fact that he has been a politician who can truly write-movingly and genuinely about himself. The fact that he has been, as commander-in-chief, a superb articulator, has helped to propose humane sensible solutions and shown his level-headed, non-partisan views. I like to believe in the shared understanding that pull us together as Americans. An excerpt from the book discusses how poverty has a long and varied history in America. More importantly, the effects on the black community have been chronic and debilitating. “African Americans understand that culture matters but that culture is shaped by circumstance. We know that many in the inner city are trapped by their own self-destructive behaviors but those behaviors are not innate. And because of that knowledge, the black community remains convinced that if America finds it will to do so, then circumstances for those trapped in the inner city can be changed, individual attitudes among the poor will change in kind, and the damage can gradually be undone, if not for this generation then at least for the next. Such wisdom might help us move beyond ideological bickering and serve as the basis of a renewed effort to tackle the problems of inner city poverty.” The Organization For Economic Cooperation And Development puts it this way:

In order to participate fully in the social life of a community, individuals may need a level of resources that is not too inferior to the norms of a community. For example, the clothing budget that allows a child not to feel ashamed of his school attire is much more related to national living standards than to strict requirements for physical survival.

This is not to say that if you come from an inner city or have had to deal with poverty, you will not be able to succeed in life. On the contrary, I believe that coming from this way of life gives you a better grasp on what it means to have determination and drive. Money or rather, lack of can cause so much distress but it can also be a motivator. With hard work and perseverance, dreams can turn into reality. words