We Can Do Better

While most people are rehashing the best jokes from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and debating who was better—President Obama or Conan (I vote for the former)—I am still thinking about the words President Obama spoke at the end of his speech. In my opinion, these words are the highlight of the night:

“And so, these men and women should inspire all of us in this room to live up to those same standards; to be worthy of their trust; to do our jobs with the same fidelity, and the same integrity, and the same sense of purpose, and the same love of country. Because if we’re only focused on profits or ratings or polls, then we’re contributing to the cynicism that so many people feel right now.

“And so, those of us in this room tonight, we are incredibly lucky. And the fact is, we can do better—all of us. Those of us in public office, those of us in the press, those who produce entertainment for our kids, those with power, those with influence—all of us, including myself, we can strive to value those things that I suspect led most of us to do the work that we do in the first place—because we believed in something that was true, and we believed in service, and the idea that we can have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of the people around us.”

Given everything that has happened over the last few weeks, from the politics surrounding the Senate’s rejection of expanded gun background checks to the ways in which various media outlets mishandled much of the reporting from the Boston bombing, it is clear that we really can, and need to, do better. Beyond what’s been reported in the media, these words are applicable to most of our lives, whether it’s career-related or personal; we can all do better and we should strive to remember why we do what we do. If we can’t remember, then we need to re-evaluate.

As for the rest of his speech, it was hilarious. Potential side gig as a stand-up comedian? Watch it here:

Four More Years: Inauguration Highlights

Four years ago, I, along with 1.8 million other people, descended upon Washington D.C. for the first inauguration of President Barack Obama. To say there was excitement in the air, in the world, would be an understatement. Here was the first African American President of the United States, someone who brought a new platform and new perspective, not to mention “Hope” and “Change,” to a country that was looking for something new. Walking through the streets of D.C., you could not miss the countless people beaming and bristling, ready for what’s to come.

Fast forward four years, to a world that has seen much happen. This time, close to one million gathered in a more somber nation’s capital. Gone were the ten official inaugural balls and elaborate festivities of 2009, but in the air excitement, perhaps a little more tempered, still remained. This inauguration marked another moment in history, one that I was honored to be part of.

Some inauguration highlights include:

Kicking off the festivities with OUR TIME, a non-profit that leverages the power of young voters to promote better representation of millennials in American society. Performers, including Common, John Legend, and T-Pain, took to the stage alongside members of Congress, who spoke about the importance of voting.
Tausha Cowan

Setting eyes on The Beast. Intimidating, impenetrable and just so, so cool, I loved seeing this thing head to the swearing in ceremony and then make its way back to the White House. Not to mention seeing those certain people inside, waving to the thousands of elated citizens.
Tausha Cowan

Attending the Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center. I’m not going to lie, three weeks ago I thought, oh, it’s for the best that I won’t get to attend the Inaugural Ball. It will probably be crowded and congested and too packed to have a good time. Well…somehow, all worked out well and I got to attend what ended up being an amazing event. Seeing the president and first lady dance, in addition to the countless other great performances, immediately goes up there as one of those moments you feel honored to witness.
Tausha Cowan

Now that the festivities have ended and the crowds have dissipated, I know the president has a long way to go. The last four years saw many challenges, and I know these next four years could just as well bring the same. I can only hope that those who are privileged enough to have the power to make decisions look at four more years as more opportunities to do what is right.

And on that note, I leave you with my inauguration mashup, which showcases my attempts to capture just how energetic these historic moments can be.