I spent much of yesterday at the Sabathani Community Center in south Minneapolis. They hosted an event for the inauguration of Barack Obama. I watched his inauguration in a room full of people from many different backgrounds and origins. It was a very emotional experience for many of us and I heard many shouts of approval and saw many tears of joy. After the inauguration finished, an open forum was held in another room. The forum was meant as a place for sharing the importance and emotion of the day. Many stepped up to the microphone and spoke. Their topics varied from stories about their origins and life experiences to pleas for help in advancing what they deemed to be important issues.

It was at this forum where I came to realize that, with the inauguration of Barack Obama, we are entering a new paradigm. Many of the people in that room, either into the microphone or in conversation, expressed the need for the people to be active in the decisions being made in government. This is the first time in my lifetime that I can remember people realizing in their souls that We The People ARE the government. The government is not OTHER it is US.

They spoke using words like Humanity, Community, Vigilance, Hope, Celebration, and Redemption. Through this shared experience many of us have realized the hope the founding fathers had and are prepared to do the work required of the people in a self-governed republic to keep the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness alive through difficult times.