Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Audacity of Hope

I work with a man who has taught U.S. History for many years. His classroom is cluttered with books, photographs, and memorabilia that tells the history of our great country. Every so often, particularly when a Republican fails to meet his expectations, he asks me when I am going to become a Democrat. And while the truth is that I tend to vote Republican, I don't consider myself very far from center in the political world. But this does not stop me from engaging Big Poppa--my colleague--in strictly partisan debate. It amuses me.
Fortunately for him, the horizon looks Democratic. This is not a result of current Republican leadership. Instead, it is about a man who I hope will rise above the your are either this or that mentality that has this country stuck. I am hoping that Senator Barack Obama runs for President.
I've read three chapters from his book The Audacity of Hope; he had me at the title. I love words, especially when they are put near words one wouldn't normally associate with the other. Think about it; the audacity, the brazeness, of hope.
There is much more about him that I must discover, specifically his views on education. But if the following quote is any indication, then we are on the same page:

Sometimes we need both cultural transformation and government action--a change in values and a change in policy--to promote the kind of society we want. The state of our inner-city schools is a case in point. All the money in the world won't boost student achievement if parents make no effort to instill in their children the value of hard work and delayed gratification. But when we as a society pretend that poor children will fulfill their potential in dilapidated, unsafe schools with outdated equipment and teachers who aren't trained in the subjects they teach, we are perpetrating a lie on these children, and on ourselves. We are betraying our values (63).


At 7:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My students and I are watching eagerly to see if he throws in his bid for nomination--they see the cultural/government significance in the action.
I am on my way out the door and am picking up a copy of Audacity!

At 9:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I almost bought this book at the airport today... I'm sure I will soon. I've listened to all of his podcasts and they are similarly inspiring.

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