Weathering the Storm

By Todd A. Smith

            It was inevitable.  The honeymoon that President Barack Obama, and all other presidents, experienced has officially given way to criticism of his policies on the economy and health care to false rumors that he may not be a natural-born U.S. citizen and therefore ineligible to hold the office of president.  The criticism reached a fevered pitch when Obama spoke out against the arrest of his friend, Henry Louis Gates, who accused Cambridge, Mass. police of racial profiling.

            President Obama entered the White House to much celebration and pageantry.  However, despite being liked by many Americans, some of his policies are disliked just as much.  Nevertheless, by weathering the storm that all presidents endure, Obama’s presidency can possibly go down in Black history by showing our children what can be overcome by weathering the storms of life.

            President Obama’s journey to the White House was filled with many stormy days.  From his childhood without his Kenyan father to his mother having to accept government assistance to help provide for her two children, Obama’s perseverance is a reminder of what can be accomplished, regardless of the obstacles.

            Black children across the country, who were inspired by President Obama’s historic election, should also find inspiration from watching the president handle all of the criticism that has come his way in recent weeks with class, determination and humility.

            Many of our children believe they are at a severe disadvantage in life because they were not born with some of the same advantages as their peers, such as two-parent homes and financial stability.  Some believe that life is harder for them because of financial status or the color of their skin, and that life is easy for the people not confronted with the same problems.

            However, as President Obama’s election showed us that it does not matter where you come from but where you are going in life, the president’s tumultuous first year in office should show our children that no matter who you are and what advantages you have, the road to success is difficult for all, and weathering the storm is something everyone has to endure if you are to be successful.

            Knowing that life is not easy for anyone, regardless of who the person is, should inspire our children to know that they can achieve anything and everything in life, but it will not always be easy, as it is not easy for anyone.  Life has a way of throwing obstacles in our path, but it is our duty to overcome these obstacles and achieve greatness in the process.

            Too often, people use their situation as an excuse to not aspire to achieve greatness.  Many people falsely believe that if they were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth, then they cannot climb the ladder of success.  Some see extremely successful people and believe that their riches were handed to them and that their success is not a product of hard work. 

            However, many of these successful individuals spent the majority of their lives weathering storms and eventually they were rewarded for their endurance.  President Obama is in the midst of weathering the storms of politics, but his perseverance and eventual success should provide hope for all, and a realization that the good things in life do not come easy.

Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

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