thank you for humble leadership

I consider it my highest mission as an intercultural educator to foster and encourage empathy, humility and vulnerability in my students. And as it is in both my personal and professional cultures to express gratitude where it is due, I want to say this: Dear Barack Obama, thank you for your humble leadership. For shedding a tear at the podium, for the depth of your bow in Asia, and for going to places (geographically and metaphorically) where no President has gone before. Your humble leadership made me (newly) proud in a world where the revelations of my country’s history within others’ left me red-faced. In 2009, from Asia to Latin America, the word “Obama” became practically a greeting in the universal languages of high fives and welcoming smiles. Speaking for the troops of humility-builders on the ground, I want you to know that — all over the world — something shifted when you entered office: gentle understanding was extended in exchange for your humble gestures of recognition and respect. And when I came back home to the US, I felt I could work with confidence leading from below, knowing you were doing the same from above. In this politically-desolate world, I’ve felt you as both ally and friend; inching together towards a common mission, inspired by your grit to build my own in this increasingly complex world. But I hope you haven’t felt alone. I’m only one of millions, but I want to shake your hand, give you a high five, and (seriously) hug you. Thanks for going gray for us. I went a little gray too. But am ever so grateful for the 8-years of shared journey.






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