What the #SOTU Told Me

So the State of the Union was the other day and of course I watched it. Among the gaggle of friends I have chatted with about it, there was very little in between of what we thought about the #SOTU. There were some great one liners, and if you love Obama you loved the speech. If you’re not a fan of Obama you hated it.

I think for me it was a unifying partisan speech and a national spanking. During the whole thing I just felt that Obama had taken American politics and the people across his lap and spanked us for the childishness that we have allowed to transpire thus far in the nation’s Presidential race and other trivial situations which have overshadowed the real issues in our nation.

However, while his words were echoing around the chamber and television and computer screens across the globe, I think the most telling and poignant parts of the #SOTU were the images that flashed across the screens:

Courtesy of http://www.nydailynews.com

The empty chair next to First Lady Michelle Obama


The faces of the presidential candidates

The glimpse of Kim Davis

The divisive support of the President

The facial expressions of Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg hug with President Obama

The the images of the the Little Sisters of the Poor

And of course aging of President Obama, himself, since his first non-State of the Union in 2009 immediately following his taking of office.

Among these images, it told me a story. It told me a story of a divided nation. It told me a story of a people with great potential but mired down in selfish and stubborn attitudes. It told me a story where complacency and ignorance has entered and has encouraged racism, sexism and more. It told me a story of the disconnect with our legislators and the people. It told me a story of the unrealistic and inhumane views of leaders in our nation. It told me a story that being more right is more important than solving a problem.

But it also told me that:

Courtesy of http://www.wjbf.com

“…whatever you may believe, whether you prefer one party or no party, our collective

future depends on your willingness to uphold your obligations as a citizen. To vote. To speak out. To stand up for others, especially the weak, especially the vulnerable, knowing that each of us is only here because somebody, somewhere, stood up for us.”

~President Obama State of the Union Address, January 12, 2016

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!

Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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