Watching yesterday's Inauguration, I was reminded of the old joke about the Senator who dies and arrives at the Pearly Gates. He's offered the chance to choose between Heaven and Hell, and given a chance to spend a day in each place. In Hell, much to his surprise, he sees cocktail parties, yachting, golf, bridge tournaments and sunny beaches. Heaven is simply clouds and harp music. He tells St Peter that while Heaven seems nice, Hell seems less boring. St Peter accepts this and places the Senator back on the elevator. When the elevator doors open in Hell, the Senator steps out into pure fire and brimstone, misery and suffering. He accosts the Devil and asks, "What is going on. When I was here yesterday, this was a pleasant and lively place. Now, it's hellish!"
"Simple", say the Devil. "Yesterday we were campaigning for your vote. Today is a different story."
Through the campaign and in his inauguration address, President Obama promised a better America. Yesterday, he clearly denounced many of the practices and habits that have brought great harm to our country, the family of nations and this earth.
Both Mr Obama and the American people have a lot on our plates that needs to be corrected. He used the pronoun "we" regularly, and I find that dead on.
To achieve what Mr Obama speaks of, Americans must undergo a major cultural shift. I hope we can rise again to the task.