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Two frogs fell into a pail of milk…

They paddled for hours, until one finally gave up and drowned. The other kept paddling, until he felt something solid under his feet. The paddling had churned the milk to butter, and he was able to leap out of the pail. [image credit: Exceptional Existence ] https://youbeunstoppable.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/inspirational-stories-1-two-frogs-in-the-milk/

They paddled for hours, until one finally gave up and drowned. The other kept paddling for a few more minutes, until he felt something solid under his feet. The paddling had churned the milk to butter, and he was able to leap out of the pail.
[image credit: Exceptional Existence ]


My flight leaving New York yesterday was late taking off, shrinking my three-hour layover in Abu Dhabi to less than 25 minutes. A gate attendant said passengers travelling to Bangalore would have try to rebook on the next flight—the following day.

etihad-uniform

[Image credit: Superadrianme]

People might call me a lot of things but “fit” has never been one of them. Still… I had two old friends, a fantastic trip planned, and a serious amount of really great food waiting for me in Bangalore. I started to run, even as the PA system announced “Final boarding call for Bangalore. All passengers should now be on board.”

As I was running, an employee of Etihad asked me where I was going. When she heard, she had me come to the desk while she checked on the flight. My seat was already reassigned, she said, but she printed out a new boarding pass. “And I have a car for you.” She led me to the door and a limo with a uniformed driver. He took my backpack, handed me into the car, and we headed toward the runway.

luxury-1961577_1280As we drove, the driver asked me how I liked Abu Dhabi, and pointed out a spectacular new airport under construction. “You should come back in a year and try it.” We pulled up to the jet, where a set of stairs was wheeled up. The driver opened my door and handed out my backpack as if it was a Louis Vuitton original. At the top of the stairs, a flight attendant took my bag and showed me to my seat—at the front of First Class. Another brought me a glass of wine and a bowl of mixed nuts, and asked if I’d like to put in my dinner order.

Behind me I could hear the plane buzzing with speculation about the identity of the passenger with the limo, chauffeur, and first class seat.

If only I had remembered my sunglasses.

Why am I telling you this story? Well, I realized that I could have focussed on my suitcase (which hasn’t yet shown up yet). I could have been one of the (many) people who accepted that they would lose a day and lined up to rebook for the next day’s flight.

But here’s the thing…

I’ve been really depressed as we get ready for the next four years with Donald Trump and felt helpless against an agenda that I find frankly terrifying. But a letter that came out today from outgoing President Barak Obama calls on all of us to keep paddling.

I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding.

All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work — the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there’s an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.

I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.

And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We the People.’ ‘We shall overcome.’

Yes, we can.

President Barack Obama

 

If we give up, we might drown just before we find a way out. If we don’t try a hopeless run, our near future will not be good. But, if we accept President Obama’s challenge, we just might end up with butter. In First Class.


Letter from outgoing President Barak Obama:

 

barak

My fellow Americans,

It’s a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place. It’s a letter meant to share what we know, what we’ve learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world.

But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.

Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength. I’ve seen neighbors and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers — and found grace in a Charleston church.

I’ve taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I’ve seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other.

I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding.

All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work — the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there’s an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.

I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.

And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We the People.’ ‘We shall overcome.’

Yes, we can.

President Barack Obama

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