I have re-listened to this one section of President Obama's speech last night in Newtown several times last evening and again this morning when I woke up. The entire speech is great and worth listening to, but this one section of the speech last night really got to me, had me running for pen and paper to try to write down some of it. We have a president that sincerely seems engaged with questions about what it means to live here for a time on this planet. There is so much beauty in this passage, it really makes me take pause, and for stuff this eloquent and true to come out of the mouth of a president really fills me with hope and happiness. It is really, really well-written, honest about how we as human beings will always fall short of our aspirations, honest about how life is a mystery, that we will grope "through the darkness, so often unable to discern God's heavenly plans." To hear this part in the speech, skip to around the 13:30 mark:
"All the world's religions - so many of them represented here today - start with a simple question: Why are we here? What gives life meaning? What gives our acts purpose? We know our time on this Earth is fleeting. We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain; that even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it's wealth or power or fame, or just simple comfort, we will, in some fashion, fall short of what we had hoped. We know that no matter how good our intentions, we will all stumble sometimes, in some way. We will make mistakes; we will experience hardships. And even when we're trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discern God's heavenly plans. There's only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have - for our children, for our families, for each other."