Power of hope

The euphoria and pomp of inauguration day now gone, U.S. President Barack Obama awoke this morning to the sober reality of an American economy in tatters amid unprecedented—and unrealistic—expectations that somehow he single-handedly will turn things around merely by occupying the White House.
He can’t, of course.
Mr. Obama, himself, has gone to great lengths since his election Nov. 4 as the nation’s first black president to dampen expectations, which he reiterated again in his inauguration address yesterday by saying the challenges America faces are real, serious, and many—and that they “will not be met easily or in a short span of time.”
“But know this, America—they will be met,” he then pledged.
And that, really, is the crux of the matter. While it’s unlikely Mr. Obama can live up to the 80 percent approval rating he enjoys heading into office, one cannot deny the hope the prospect of his presidency has inspired in the American people, as evidenced by the one million plus who crammed the National Mall between the Capitol and Washington Monument to witness his historic inauguration. A hope that times have changed and life will improve down the road. A hope that no matter how bleak things may get, there’s someone in charge who will lead the country out of the darkness.
A hope that provides the springboard to a better America—and world.
A hope that’s as bright in the States today as it is sadly lacking here in Canada.
It is time for our leaders to similarly inspire us.