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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Only in Texas...

There are things which transcend politics.

Today, in a state where the stars are bright, deep in the heart of Texas, at my grandfather's university, an American president from my grandfather and father's generation met the president from my generation and both of them, from different sides of the ideological spectrum converged with a message for all that are and for those who come in what is to be our tomorrow.

The message? Is that in giving, we find the soul of our common character.

How amazing is this life.

You see, for generations, the spirit of what is freely given to help the 'least of these' has always yielded the most amazing results. It has pulled our people from the depths of a depression. It's helped countless thousands around the world to find something just a little bit better than what was. It's gone beyond what we've pessimistically assigned to impossible to becoming that which is intrinsically possible given that big dreams are the birthright of a people who are heirs to a land improbably founded on finding possibilities in the impossible.

And it's what is - I believe - that centuries from now - people will find as a common strand of our mutual DNA when they examine what it is that makes us who we are.

I believe we really do, as people, have this idea that there's nothing we can't overcome as a society if we're willing to take a look in the mirror, as so many have before, and ask ourselves what it is that we can do which we can leave behind that will make a difference.

And in that, we'll find our calling to serve.

From soup kitchens to Americorps. From the deserts of the Darfur to the slums if Port Au Prince in Haiti, I think there's something in each of us that can say to a young, hungry Hatian child that he doesn't need to eat from a plate of mud that he's allowed himself to believe is as tasty as a steak from Shulas steakhouse. I believe that we'll find a way to improve the human condition so that children across the planet will find a way to believe in the fundamentals which make our dreams so viable. So real. And so tangible. And while some host conversations and other caulk Habitat for Humanity houses, and while others donate used True Religions while others give shoes which were saved from a life in a landfill, we all have a part to play in this performance called service.

We'll never hear about what some do. Others will inspire us to meet the call. Others will find challenges as they climb to overcome.

But when we heed the call to serve. To give of ourselves freely so that we can make a difference, we'll find a wealth which is so bountiful, and so limitless, that thoughts of fame and fortune will fade away in the light of the real and true cause which makes so many unsung celebrities along the walk of fame we call life.

Only in Texas could we find this inspiration so evident. Only among two Presidents could we discover that which stirs us to act. Only in the warmth of a thousand points of light could we discover the way forward for those of us who desire to leave something behind...

... as citizens of what is becoming a much smaller and smaller world.

Let's answer the call.