One of the greatest gifts my mother gave me was a solid foundation of appreciating the dignity and respect all people deserve. She grew up in Northwest Indiana in the 1950s and 1960s and the views she had of the fundamental equality among people were not likely held by many in her neighborhood or even in her family. I may not know how she developed such a keen sense of fellowship with people, but I am grateful that she did.
I cannot count how many times she would illustrate for me that people aren't better than one another, but different. And our differences deserve to be respected and even admired.
I'd like to think that she did a good job fostering those beliefs in me and I'd like to think that I will be able to raise my own children with these beliefs. That said, this country is poised to do for its children more than my mother could ever have done for me. More than I can do for my children. Not in every way, mind you, but in this specific way: America is about to demonstrate that all people, regardless of their differences, deserve an equal shot at the dream. All people can achieve their dreams.
With luck, my children will see an African-American family occupy the White House for the next eight years. Stop and think about how powerful that is. Now think about how powerful a symbol that will be for African-American children in this country.
I voted today for Barack Obama. I've never been more proud to cast a vote.