Now, when I think back to my mother telling me that if I tried hard enough I could become president, I no longer think she was trying to inspire me. I think she was warning me. I, however, could not hear her warning. I wanted (or needed) her and my teachers to be inspiring me, not warning me.
The problem was that I could not hear my mother italicizing the word “anyone”. Had I heard the word “anyone” in italics, I would have been more prepared for what has been happening. Indeed, it is now very clear: “Anyone can become president of the United States.” Anyone is different from anyone. My mother and teachers did not know how to italicize their words when they spoke. Shame on them.
Our dreams and fears are now true, terrifyingly true, and anyone (if we are not careful) will become president. Anyone. And, indeed, anyone will become president if we, all of us, not just the we that lives their lives like me, or that share my values, or my education, or my love for my children, but the larger we, all of us, do not wake up.Read More