Monday, January 19, 2009

Transcending Race

I read in the paper this last week that Tiger Woods will be speaking at a celebration ceremony Sunday – five days after Barak Obama takes the inaugural oath of office as President of the United States.

And I thought "how incredibly fitting".

But not perhaps for what some shallow minds may think the obvious reason.

Yes, they are both black men.


Actually they are both persons of diverse heritages. Both are children of mixed relationships.

But that's not what I am getting at.

Because I think Tiger Woods transcends all that nonsense.

Tiger is not referred to as 'that black golfer'.

Tiger is referred to as probably the greatest golfer to ever play the game.

Mr. Obama is not immediately thought of as that black politician.

Because I think Mr. Obama – President Obama – transcends all that nonsense.

Mr. Obama is referred to as one of the best orators of our time. A natural leader. A thoughtful man who chooses his words like Tiger chooses his clubs. Carefully, with consideration.

And with confidence.

When Tiger plays in a PGA tour event, an immediate sense of hope and anticipation arises. Tiger has made what many previously thought to be a most boring event to watch on TV incredibly exciting. Hitting long drives to the green, putting from off the green to the edge of steep sloe where the ball falls sideways and rolls to the lip of the cup – and on the final rotation – falls into the hole after dangling on the edge for a few dramatic seconds.

And I think we see the potential in President Obama for the same type of presence. And that same type of clutch performance. We see it in how in what has become a brutally partisan Washington – a President who included as many members who disagree with him as those that do agree. A sense that consideration to all angles of every decision will be equally weighed – like Tiger standing in the fairway determining not which club to hit – but which groove on the clubface to hit it with.

In my lifetime I have never experienced the emergence of a leader with such promise and hope as the entire world seems to see in President Obama.

More so than John F. Kennedy.

More so than Ronald Reagan.

What an incredible time to be alive. The feeling of hope and inspiration is so strong.

And if you ever want to be inspired as a golfer, watch Tiger Woods play in a major event.

And if you ever want to be inspired as to the potential of our world's future, watch Barack Obama take the oath of office tomorrow. And record his inauguration speech.

I am sure it will be a keeper.

With this great event taking place the day after Martin Luther King day, and with the grand historic significance of his being the first black man to be President of the United States Of America– I understand that many will want to focus on the significance of race.

But then maybe we can take another step forward – inspired by President Obama – and Tiger Woods – and we can all transcend our thinking to the point where we are oblivious to race.

How incredibly inspiring.

And how incredibly fitting.

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