‘Jim Robinson lived in a Friendfield Plantation slave cabin. His great-great-granddaughter lives in The White House.’

Michelle Obama, last night:

That is the story of this country. The story that has brought me to the stage tonight. The story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, who kept on striving, and hoping, and doing what needed to be done. So that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters —two beautiful intelligent black young women — played with the dog on the White House lawn.

And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all of our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country is not great. That somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on Earth.

If the person before you gave up, where would you be?

A lot of Michelle Obama’s excellent speech last night was about her children, her two lovely daughters and the future she is trying to build for them. I don’t think you have to be a parent to want the world to be better for others than it has been for you. You just have to be a human being with some measure of generosity and empathy, and parent to child is just the easiest way for people to make that argument: That you want to ensure the future for someone you care about.

This is the future Jim Robinson ensured by staying alive.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsIf he had given up, where would Michelle Obama be now? Where would any of us be, without the examples and the endurance of those who came before us? Sometimes we need to look at what we survived, to remind us what we can survive. It’s been such a horrible year.

From four days last week of people telling us we can’t afford to be open, we can’t take the risk of being generous, we can’t love the stranger or lift up the widow and orphan, we can’t we can’t we can’t, it’s all too much, close the blinds and lock the door and yes build the damn wall already, we get here. To people telling us we are better than this every day, because every day we open our eyes and our arms and we throw ourselves back out into the world again.

A war widow, taken in by a con man, rebuilds her life. The daughter of immigrants becomes a shining star. The first Muslim elected to Congress, whose religion is the target of so much hate and fear these days, says retreating from society isn’t a protest, it’s a surrender.

And defeated Bernie Sanders tells his supporters that their heartbreak can only be overcome by risking their hearts again, over and over and over again.

If that is all we can claim, it is enough. I tell myself and others this, a lot: You don’t have to be bigger or faster or smarter or stronger. You do have to get back up one more time than they can knock you down. You do have to stack your life back up again when the storm blows it over. And you have to do it over and over and over and over again, when you’re tired and you’re sick and you hate everything and it seems like finally, finally, you can’t go on like this anymore.

So that your great-great-granddaughter wakes up every morning in a house built by slaves, and her children play on the lawn with their dog.

A.

3 thoughts on “‘Jim Robinson lived in a Friendfield Plantation slave cabin. His great-great-granddaughter lives in The White House.’

  1. So aptly put. 2 hugely inspirational woman – Michelle Obama & Hilary Clinton. Dreams do come true if you make sacrifices & strive hard enough. Martin Luther King inspired an entire globe with his famous speech almost half a century ago. It’s vitaly important to Embrace love, Retain your integrity, be Selfless, don’t be Disillusioned by negativity & be Self motivated in your quest for success. Remember ‘Carpe Diem’!

    Like

  2. K. A. Hayden says:

    Standing ovation. You rock it too.

    Like

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