Pride Renewed: Yes, We Can

I write this piece just before dawn of a new day in America. Winning by a landslide of YES, Senator Barack Obama is now the 44th President-Elect of the United States. I have pride renewed – it is a great day for we Americans, and hopefully for the rest of the world. In the last decade it has not always been easy to be a proud American – I have cringed at the newspaper and TV stories; our own and those of other nations. But today’s early morning headlines prompt tears; and I have much pride, hope and imagination. I feel once more, as Senator Obama states: Yes We Can…

I became an American citizen the same day I presented a lecture called Snapshots from a GeoOdyssey to a dinner meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists in San Francisco. That evening I was bursting with pride; pride that I was a new American and pride that my professional and life story was of sufficient interest to my colleagues that they wanted to listen to my story of making it in North America. But that I could tell the tale at all, is because only in North America could a slightly educated, curious and driven young man with acute wanderlust have achieved success undreamed while he was growing up in West London. It was Canada that gave me, a British immigrant, the chances to lurch from being an indifferent trainee systems analyst with little math or science background, to become a prospector and then a university-educated geological engineer. And it was the United States that provided me with the challenges and life opportunities to advance much further in my career than I ever imagined. So: Yes, We Can.

In 1994. while lecturing at Cambridge University and Imperial College, London – two of the finest universities in the world- I often realized that if I had stayed in the UK in 1969, I would never have been given the opportunities that allowed me to develop to the point that, 25 years later, I was sufficiently recognized to be invited to lecture at those schools. And so it is for millions of other immigrants who come here, bring their dreams and their energy, and thrive as Americans and Canadians. We are great, free, imaginative, nations, full of people like me, and children of people like me, who have worked hard to thrive in our adopted homes. Yes, We Can.

The arrogant mistakes made by the USA in the last 8 years have been painful to my pride and that of other Americans. But yesterday, with our resounding landslide affirmation, the success of Senator Obama in winning the election shows the world again what we are capable of when we put our minds to it – how Americans can promote the equality and potential of differences. Perhaps, electing for change, we may now humbly lead the rest of the world out of the quagmires that we have so arrogantly helped to make. Yes, We Can…

About Ed Medley

Ed Medley has been on a random walk for over 50 years. Many scribbles and snapshots at this site are from his vagabond transits; others are from his decades of international experience in geological and geotechnical engineering, academia, and mineral exploration prospecting.
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