In light of this historic moment in America, I was moved by the reaction of my friends abroad. In addition to the text messages, phone calls, emails, facebook messages from my family and friends in America, I received two international phone calls from a friend in Trinidad and a friend in Ethiopia. I received emails from my former students in Ethiopia, emails from two friends in Argentina, another from a friend in Brazil, as well as several facebook messages from my former Ethiopian co-workers (when I was an ESL teacher in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). The reactions from my international friends were those of shock, happiness, excitement, etc. For example, my former student wrote “Wow, America has a president that looks like me. That is very good” and my former co-worker wrote “Congratulations to your country! They elected a black president I am happy for you guys. I thought that could never happen in a place like America. It gives hope to people in my country who suffer from discrimination because of their ethnic group. Maybe an Oromo will become president of Ethiopia in years to come. Change came to America and will come to other countries too.”
Thinking back to our discussion about the leadership of the candidates, I began to think about Obama’s transformational leadership abilities. Obama was able to address the needs of followers while elevating these followers to a higher moral level. Evident from his speech last night, it was and is a joint pursuit of shared goals and aspirations for change. However, the scope of Obama’s leadership extends beyond America and into the lives of the global community. He is able to evoke the spirit of hope, change, and unity not just for Americans but for citizens of the world. Just look at this clip showing global Obama celebrations: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2008/11/05/mxp.obama.worldwide.cnn
As I sat in a few tears, shock, excitement and every other emotion felt when history is made, I was proud of Obama’s and the Democratic Party’s exceptional campaign and victory. But more important, I was very proud of America. This historic moment not only demonstrated the leadership of the Democratic Party but also that of the American citizen, who participated in democratic process regardless of their party affiliation, personal beliefs, or candidate choice. This election truly manifested the leadership abilities of American citizens. Everyone who casted a vote (whether for Mc Cain, Obama, or other) displayed exceptional leadership by taking a stand for the future of this country. It is important to note the world is proud of America! We were and hopefully will continue to be small l leaders in changing the future of this country!!