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

Out Of The Desert Of Despair At Last

I've arrived at the edge of a desert of despair, the tears forced upon me by a message of hope.

For the first time, I've seen the American promise fulfilled with grace against the onslaught of ignorance and the politics of fear.

And I've seen a man climb to the mountaintop and look down upon those who lifted him there and humbly say, "It's not about me. It's about you." It's about me.

This is the message of hope for which my soul has yearned these long, long years. This is the moment when honesty and decency and diversity and curiosity and unity can once again sweep the nation and inspire the world.

He paints this country with a broad blue brush and all over the world people rejoice.

For the first time I will look forward to every presidential address.

He says, "Yes We Can."

I've arrived at the edge of the desert of despair. The tears keep coming.

And yet...

They booed him when John McCain conceded.

They cheered the ignorant, hate filled Palin.

There are still those who will cling to ignorance, to power without responsibility, to division instead of unity, to hate and fear instead of hope and love.

He says, "We have work to do." And I know he's right. Even as I rejoice, I know that nothing is completed today - it is only beginning.

I know that I have to step up and change the world, myself, and inspire those around me to change it with me. I know that this is the time I have been waiting for, when a leader tells us we can, and we do.

We must rebuild our roads and bridges and our electrical grid.

We must invest in new energy sources, tighten our belts and think twice about our impact on the world. We must invest in our planet, even as we invest in ourselves and the great diversity of life.

We must end wars and bring peace and unity not only to our country, but to our world.

We must do all we can to end bigotry and ignorance and to lift up our sisters and our brothers so that we all, standing together, of any faith or background, prosper and celebrate this impossibly rare planet we share and the even more impossible fact that we exist.

We may well be the only beings like us in the universe. We have no proof otherwise.

Let's not blow it. Let's evolve together and take this opportunity to be the best we can be and leave the worst behind.

Please join the New National Dialog Project on Facebook to begin our national conversation and put an end to the politics of fear and division and bring on a new era. The time has arrived, and we have work to do.