First Person

Words to Change the World?

Posted by
Ephraim Freed
Oxfam America Boston staffers watching the inauguration. Photo: Ephraim Freed

Like many of you, I watched yesterday’s inauguration with a crowd: my Oxfam America co-workers, and a few of their kids and spouses, too. At noon, many of us clustered around the big TV in the lobby of our office, balancing our sandwiches on our laps as we watched history in the making.

Amidst all the rhetoric of the day, I was particularly struck by one quote from President Obama’s inauguration speech:

“To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.

And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.”

What do you think: Are we really waking up this morning to a world transformed? And if things have indeed changed, what must we do, as individuals, to keep up the momentum? Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+