Winning Isn't Everything

The past 21 months have been a roller coaster of emotions-and most of the time I would succumb to their effects and measure my day and life on which one was consuming me at the time.

The highs of Iowa, the Democratic nomination, the convention and the current polls favoring Obama.  The lows including Rev. Wright, the primary wars, the "seemingly" brilliant Palin choice and polls that show our candidate was losing.

Far fewer times I actually thought about how this election has changed me personally-tonight is one of those unique times.

You see no matter who wins this election I have grown as an individual and I have many people to thank for this.

The elderly man in my neighborhood who has shared many stories with me about the civil rights era and how he believed, at the time, that African Americans were "dangerous" to America.  He is now voting for the first time in 24 years and will cast his vote for Obama.

The 14 year old girl who I met in New Castle, PA who has her own paper route and has donated $58 to the Obama campaign because Obama "makes her parents happy."

The 40 something General Electric worker from Grove City, PA who quietly confided in me his intentions in voting for Obama even though all of his "Harley riding friends would be disappointed." His reasoning?  "Because Obama offers hope and unity for this country instead of dividing us."

My oldest son, who now comes home from school and instead of wanting to turn on Nickelodeon he wants to know if Obama is having a rally tonight, a debate or how the polls were.  He's 10 and has probably done more voter outreach than any 4th grader in Pennsylvania.

The wide rainbow of individuals I have personally met at numerous Democratic locations.  I have canvassed, phone-banked and put in long hours with these people.  The understanding that "power will not give up easily" and I am proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with them.

To all of you I have met on the blogosphere (especially my fellow Moose start-up crew) who I shared my thoughts, experiences and feelings with.  The coalition we built between Clinton and Obama supporters and to see it come to fruition with the launching of Motley Moose will be something I will never forget.  We were always there for each other sharing a common purpose, to make life better for the less fortunate and the next generation. 

All of these people, and many more not mentioned, have fulfilled me in  ways that no amount of money or power could possibly achieve.  You see these are "real life" experiences, with real emotion and real connection.  These have shaped me for the rest of my life and can never be taken away.

You see Barack has been right all along.  This election isn't about him, it's about you and me.  It's about opening our eyes and hearts and seeing the best in all people.  It's about promoting unity with our neighbors - in our city, in our state, in our country and in our world.  It's about coming together and facing our challenges head-on, as only Americans can do.  It's about being a better parent, sibling, friend and person.  It's about humility and leading by example.

"I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper."

Of course I will be devastated should Obama lose, but  I will have gained invaluable friendships, a different outlook on life, and a sense of making a difference in people's lives.

So, no matter if he wins or loses, I want to thank Barack Obama for making me take a look deep inside myself and making me a better person.

Tags: 2008 General Elections, friendships, obama, unity (all tags)



Re: Winning Isn't Everything

Beautiful, beautiful diary. Thank you so much!

by phoenixdreamz 2008-11-03 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning Isn't Everything

Thanks phoenix!!  It's been one heckuva ride, and I am just glad to have been a part of it.

by hootie4170 2008-11-03 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning Isn't Everything

great diary. Tho I hope all the Hillary-haters know that Obama, if he actually wins substantially, only did it cuz the market tanked, or it would be close. Hillary polled much better against McCain PRE-CRASH, where Obama only took off when wall street fell down. I still voted for Obama, but I'll never let the feeling of how he jacked the nod from Hillary die. If Obama screws up, than Hillary 2012.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-03 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning Isn't Everything

Thanks for the compliment to my diary.

The whole purpose though was to state unequivocally that this whole election was not solely about who won or lost, but what we have been able to take away from it in a positive fashion.

I know I would be disappointed if I were in your shoes, but instead of letting the primary consume you try and take away all the good Hillary has inspired in you.  I don't want to speak for her, but I feel she would tell you the same thing.

by hootie4170 2008-11-03 08:08PM | 0 recs
I hope that flush with victory

the Democratic party will not forget the reason they were elected, which is to help all of us. The most pressing issues are healthcare and jobs.

They need solving - quickly.

by architek 2008-11-04 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning Isn't Everything

There aren't many Hillary haters left. In fact, the complimentary praise of her I've witnesed here in recent weeks has been quite remarkable. I supported her too. Thanks for giving Obama your vote :)

by phoenixdreamz 2008-11-03 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning Isn't Everything

As a country we have already won. Hillary is a big part of this. We all are. We've all already won. That's what you're supposed to understand. Thanks for voting Obama! Barack has Hillary's back, and she has his. I think of it as having won with Barack and with Hillary and with myself. Falling in love twice during an election? This is history!

by Jeter 2008-11-03 08:30PM | 0 recs
welcome aboard!

I'm one of the biggest Obama fans around, and I gotta agree with you, it woulda been close!

Take that feeling of getting gypped, and use it as rocket fuel. Work harder, work smarter, and I promise you, we'll all get to celebrate together!

by RisingTide 2008-11-04 08:49AM | 0 recs

in a long line of wonderful diaries that have been coming out from a lot of wonderful people over the last few weeks.

Thanks for this wonderful diary!

by kevin22262 2008-11-03 08:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning Isn't Everything

Beautiful diary, to be sure, but I think we better get used to winning, too:

We're talking about revolution, not revelation.

Saul Alinsky

by Shaun Appleby 2008-11-03 10:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning Isn't Everything

Thank you for sharing.

I will help kick John McCain out of Pennsylvania forever today.  :-)

by BPK80 2008-11-04 01:35AM | 0 recs

14 year olds can't donate to campaigns!

and you can't give money to another person to donate on your behalf!

Tomorrow the RNC will be trying to arrest this child for campaign finance fraud!!! :-D

by TrueBlueMajority 2008-11-04 04:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning Isn't Everything

Sorry but given the state of affairs we are in right now uh yes winning is EVERYTHING. I appreciate that you had a moment and that many people felt something given the movement that occurred now. But do you realize what the repercussions will be of another 4 years of this garbage? Do you understand how much our country will be damaged for the longterm & most likely permanently?  This isn't a soccer game; hell this  isn't even the Olympics this is life or death here for many people, so yeah winning is EVERYTHING.  And there is NO up side to losing because the punishment we will endure will just be awful.

by jrsygrl 2008-11-04 12:41PM | 0 recs


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