I was transfixed watching the Presidential Inauguration last week by two contrasting stories. The first was of course, Joe Biden, who at some level seemed to always know he was going to be president. He didn’t win the first time he ran or even the second. But on this third try he finally became president at 78 years old, at the time when the country’s needs and his empathy and hopefully his ability to work across the aisle are most well-matched.
And the second story is that of the amazing Amanda Gorman. The way she told her story was of a skinny black girl from Los Angeles, descendant of slaves, raised by a single mom, dreams of being president and finds herself reciting to one. At 22 years old, she was so clearly on her path, full of light and truth so that watching her was witnessing someone in their sweet spot.
Both stories have taken an enormous amount of courage and resilience. They have taken thousands of small steps of risk and authenticity towards their dreams. What inspires me about the juxtaposition of these two stories, the old white man and the young black woman is that they tell us that regardless of the number of years we have lived we are challenged to find our path, that every circumstance requires us to find our best response and that dreams lead us to where we need to be if we are willing to be vulnerable enough to follow them.