You probably heard it in the news, Michelle Obama was in Merced! But that is not the reason why I love America, I love it because ANYTHING is possible in this country.
A brand new university in the middle of the central valley has a few hundred students who still believe in the notion that they can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it and so they started a campaign to invite Michelle Obama to be their commencement speaker ... and after e-mails, letters and videos, they did see it happen!
Merced, a town of 80,000 people in the central valley, in between the big political decision makers of Los Angeles and San Francisco, received a lot of publicity these last few days and it reminded me that so many things can be accomplished if we believe in our dreams, use the gifts and passions of individuals and work together.
When we work in communities, we get to see the same power at work. When we look at the gifts and passions and dreams that people in neighborhoods have and encourage them to act on it, we all get to enjoy the fruit of the labor.
Last month, we learned that an older gentleman did not have any glass in his windows and we decided to act. We contacted a local business man who donated the glass, spoke with a couple of out of work handymen who donated their time, and within a couple of weeks were able to assist this gentleman. The results:the gentleman has glass in his windows and started volunteering in another area, the handymen got to use their gifts and provide a service, and received some food from us to provide for their families, the community was encouraged and we all saw the power of community at work.
Maybe we don't get to see Michelle Obama again, but community change happens all the time in small towns like Winton and Delhi, in communities and neigbhorhoods.
Everyone no matter how rich has a need. Everyone no matter how poor has a gift. That is why we build community.
Congratulations to the students of UC Merced for having learned of the power of working together so early in life, may you use the rest of your lives and may you use it wisely!
I love America because anything is possible when we put our minds to it and dream big enough!