Politics aside, I find Barack Obama to be a speaker than can’t help but inspire. In a tough economy, starting a new business, it’s easy to have days riddled with frustration. But watching the State of the Union the other night, I felt an overwhelming sense of hope. There are few leaders that have that ability, especially in these times.
Barack Obama’s gift is in his humanity. He shares personal accounts of ordinary people, people like you and me, who have overcome odds, reinvented themselves, and emerged as stronger members of our society. He tells the stories of our schools, small businesses, and our troops to demonstrate the power of collaboration. I always leave his speeches feeling proud, honored, to be an American.
In the theme of sharing stories that are inspirational, there is a personal story that I’d like to share today. My late grandfather, James H. Carr Jr., started his own firm dealing in “Construction Specialties” in 1949. A graduate of M.I.T. with experience in the industry, he stood poised to take Washington D.C. by storm. My mom was cleaning out our basement recently and came across a letter that he wrote to his sister-in-laws after lauching his new business.
“Of course, I am in the difficult stage in my new venture. Everything is going out and nothing is coming in. I am working like a fool at the office and Rita and I are both working at home at night. It’s slow getting started but even so, things look rather bright for the future. I have about $8,000 worth of business out of bids right now and some of it is bound to click. I know you are all pulling for me and I appreciate it. Please remember me in your prayers. As ever, Jimmy”
What a wonderful country. Thanks, Mom.