12/06/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Whole New Reality

Today, after yesterday's election and Barack Obama's resounding victory, the world is in a whole new reality. Now people know, deep in their awareness, that anything is possible. That conviction, now embedded in the consciousness of humanity, has already changed us; ultimately, it will fundamentally change the world.

On election night a young, African-American boy on the south side of Chicago told a reporter what Obama's election means to him: "Now I can go to college" -- something he had not believed possible for himself before. A commenter responding to a Huffington Post election night blog, wrote, "If someone like Barack Obama can become President of the United States of America then anything is possible. I personally don't have any excuses anymore. If he can become President then I can at least become the IT Project Manager I always wanted to be. Everything is now possible." (emphasis mine)

The "everything is possible" mantra is no longer viewable as just a naïve belief, open to scoffing by cynics and pessimists. It's no longer just an idea, a possibility. It happened. It's real. And all of us saw it. Indeed, all of us, as Obama continually reminds, are what made it happen.

That's the great significance of Obama's victory. The consciousness of the American people shifted and that shift was made visible last night. Obama's triumph reflects back to us our own new, self-chosen, collective belief, and reinforces it in the process.

Because one person did the "impossible" -- with the help of many others -- then all of us can do our own personal "impossible," too. Moreover, we now know, as a collective -- at a level beyond intellect or imagination -- that together we can accomplish what humanity has believed to be beyond our reach.

Yes, we can. And yes, we will. Because after last night, we "don't have any excuses anymore."

Pamela Gerloff is co-author, with Robert W. Fuller, of Dignity for All: How to Create a World without Rankism (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2008).

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