All Things Are Possible?
No. (If you missed it, the title is a question. No is my answer.)
At least I seriously doubt it.
“All things are possible.” I hear this impossible proclamation from time to time. Most recently, I heard it the other night, on TV, when Barack Obama used it in the first few lines of his acceptance speech. Of course, his usage here is the more humanistic, truncated version. The full version, derived from the Bible, is less secular: “For with God, all things are possible.”
With or without God, however, there are, in fact, some things which almost certainly remain impossible: nothing can travel faster than light; energy can neither be created nor destroyed; monkeys can neither fly out of nor into our asses.
I think when Obama used the more humanistic, truncated version of the phrase, however, he meant it rather loosely. He’s a reasonable, sensible man. I don’t think he literally meant all things are possible. “All” just sounds better, and that wording, being Biblical, is most familiar. Rather, I suspect he meant, as I would mean if I were to use that phrase, that certain things, which previously seemed unlikely or difficult, have now come to pass.
My interpretational phrasing might be more accurate for the purposes of reality, but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue in a Presidential-elect victory speech, does it? Especially not one in which, in the United States’ 232-plus-year history and 42 Presidents later, we now for the first time ever have a President-elect of African descent.
And what a grand precedent and wonderful example that sets from this point henceforth for generations to come—especially considering our nation’s unpardonable and horrific past treatment towards blacks (among others).
Besides the unprecedented historicity of the event, though, the pigmentation of Obama’s epidermis should be (and I believe mostly has been) considered irrelevant as to why Americans should and do support him. He should be supported because, while certainly far from perfect (whatever perfection might be), he is qualified for that office, he is a wise and intelligent human, and he is an exceptional, calm, cool, and collected leader. He is not these things because he is black; rather, he has these attributes and he also just so happens to be black.
I turn now to the words of the most inspiring orator I’ve ever heard, the late Martin Luther King, Jr., from his most well-known speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963: “I have a dream,” he envisioned, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
America has now so done.
Let’s just hope that the Men in Black don’t assassinate Obama before—or after—the inauguration. Men in Black? Let’s just say I’m using that even more loosely than Obama was—I trust—using “all.”