a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Posts Tagged ‘obama’

Election-Connection – ?!

Monday, November 17th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Are you feeling it? I’m calling it the Election-Connection – an inexplicable desire to reach out and connect with people – people you know, people you don’t know, people you used to know and on and on. For me, it started on Nov. 5th – I was slowly making my way uphill on a busy road. I heard someone call out to me, “Hello Beautiful!” – I looked back to see Veterinary Clinic employees, taking an outdoor break. I waved and the other said, That’s a beautiful dress!” This sounded so cheerful and sincere, I waved back and noticed the hill suddenly felt a bit less steep.

The next day, I was inching my way into a tight parking spot when a man in a truck, waiting a the adjacent light, rolled down his window, motioning me forward with a big smile, “You got it!” he yelled out encouragingly, waiting until I made the space, even as the light turned green.

I checked messages shortly afterwards, to hear the effusive voice of a friend I hadn’t heard from for 6 months….”OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO! We did it, Tao!!!!! Change is happening!” he yelled into my voicemail.

The next day, my neighbor, normally rather recluse, stopped me, smiling, to ask about yoga lessons, saying he suddenly felt “ready” to try it…

Even John Stewart brought up the anomoulos events, saying something was “different” – people in New York City were actually looking at each other…!!

The magic has endured in the days that have followed – more friends and acqaintenances showing up unexpectedly, and strangers looking up from computers and newspapers more frequently, sometimes with a nod and a smile.

We connected, we elected, we connected some more. I can’t wait for what’s next!

The Art of Obama and Heroism – Barcelona

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

By Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

From the looks of these images, much of the world loves Obama. It’s breathtakingly moving to see the joyous reaction of people from all over the planet. We are filled with more than admiration and hope. Many of us are filled with a need for heroes and a sense of “Expectation”, so confirms artist, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (as reported by Daniel E. Slotnik in the NY Times).

Last week, Mr. Rodriguez-Gerada, with the help of some 40 volunteers, completed artwork using hundreds of tons of gravel and sand and covering 2.5 acres of Barcelona beachfront – a portrait of Obama’s face. The Cuban-American from NYC, wanted to demonstrate not just support of the candidate (now Mr. President), but “to reflect on why the world needs heroes and show the nature of hope and heroism. You can see a rendition here on the artist’s site. The portrait will soon be visible on Google Earth.

If The World Could Vote

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

For the last seven days, people from all over the world have been casting an online vote for today’s election. Who does the world choose for the next president of the United States? So far, 87.2% of the voters from 212 countries, choose Barack Obama. Cast two votes today – one for your country and one for the world.


Monday, November 3rd, 2008

No Easy Way Down – but we can enjoy the ride

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

I had a dream several years ago which I have never forgotten. It came during one of those times that comes around to all of us – when life seems full of questions and doubts. The dream went like this:

I was riding up a chair lift at a ski resort. I meant to get on a lift to a beginner slope but as I continued to ascend, the mountains got bigger and bigger. I saw a sign with the dreaded symbol of double black diamonds (the universal symbol for difficult slopes. Below the symbol were the words, “For Experts Only. No easy way down.”

Barack Obama, standing in for Senator, Edward M. Kennedy, delivered the commencement speech at Wesleyan University in Connecticut last Sunday. He echoed a theme Kennedy planned to focus on, a call to students to change the country and the world through service.

He also told them to not take the ‘easy way out’. “I hope you’ll remember,” he said, “during those times of doubt and frustration, that there is nothing naive about your impulse to change the world.”

“It’s because you have an obligation to yourself, because our individual salvation depends on our collective slavation. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realized your true potential and discover the role you’ll play in writing the next great chapter in America’s story.” (For more on this story, visit this link at

There IS no easy way down or out. But there is a challenging and fullfilling prophecy we can choose to shape our future. And, as I recall it, I awoke from that dream not filled with fear, but of excitement and determination.

THE TAO OF CHANGE [the way of a better world]

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