A "Pay it Forward" Administration
I know I am getting a bit ahead of myself but I've been reflecting on what the legacy of an Obama Administration would look like. The movie Pay it Forward came to mind. For those of you who have not seen it, I highly recommend it. It stars Kevin Spacy and Helen Hunt and the plot centers around a boy who comes up with an extra credit project idea which involves doing kind deeds for other people and asking them to "pay it forward."
I realize with issues such as war and the economic problems before us, we don't often think of service and community involvement when it comes to presidential politics. But a candidate like Barack Obama does not come along very often. The American people are yearning to be asked to help, to really make a difference in their communities. And I think Obama will not only ask for our service, but expect it. I know many of you remember or at least have a fondness for JFK, and I think he truly inspired such a notion ("Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.")
Will Obama be remembered in the same light? He has already found ways to inspire massive involvement throughout his campaign. The idea that we must "be our brother's keeper" should go beyond the church doors and into the inner city schools, hospitals and perhaps even our jails if we are to make our country even better, even stronger, and truly address our toughest problems as a nation. We need to get to the root of our social ills through collective, bipartisan efforts. Obama's proposals to tie college tuition to service may be a start. With a passionate, focused, committed leader like Obama, I think we will see progress on the homefront in more ways than we can imagine.
I know some may see this as a liberal, far-fetched idea (coming from a republican no less!) but once we get beyond those labels, the obstacles may fade away and change can be a reality. I pray this great country is blessed with an Obama Administration. -Kelly Thomas (aka Izzy)
There is a Pay it Forward book and foundation inspired by the movie that you may be interested in learning about.