I spent most of Monday enthralled by the ceremony of the U.S. presidential inauguration. Living in Washington, DC makes it all the more fascinating. First seeing the city prepare to welcome hundreds of thousands of people with more flags and banners than I thought possible, and then being part of those crowds to celebrate our country and history, and each other in the process.
The President's oath was surprisingly concise:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Personally, the Vice President's had more gravitas. In particular the words, "I will bear true faith and allegiance..." and "I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation..."
They are promising to live their days in service of others, and in honor of the principles created by our country's founders.
I live most days thinking about, well, myself.
Providing for my needs and those in my immediate circle of friends and family.
Frankly it's pretty difficult to think past that. Being in service to everyone feels too big to get my head around. And yet that's what they are committing to.
There was more meaning behind their words. In front of all of us there and watching from around the world, these leaders were also bearing true faith in:
- People they work with. One person can preserve, protect and defend only so much. It requires faith in the people you surround yourself with to do what they do to the best of their abilities, so you can do the same.
- People they serve. You will not know everyone who you have helped. It takes faith that they are good people who deserve your dedication.
- The future. What you put in place now may not be enjoyed until years after you are gone. You need faith that it's worth the effort.
- Themselves. Keeping your oath requires having faith in your instincts and judgement, your Ability.
Finally, taking this obligation without any reservation is serious stuff. You better mean it.
Now that protecting and defending the Constitution is taken care of for another four years, what oath will you take?
I, Lauree Ann Ostrofsky, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute my role as Chief Hugger and Coach at Simply Leap, Inc., and will to the best of my Ability, love generously, champion others doing the same, and trust in the power our choices have in affecting major and lasting change. I bear true faith and allegiance to this, and make this commitment freely without reservation.
There is something you believe in with every part of you. In many ways you have already pledged an oath to it with how you live your life.
Imagine me coming to you with TV cameras and banners blazing. What would you raise your right hand and bear true faith and allegiance to?
Taking this oath in front of all of us means you have something to aim for everyday. You'll be able to ask yourself, "Have I faithfully executed this to the best of my ability?"
It means you need to trust people around you, others you may never know, and yourself no matter what happens.
It means you take this obligation without any reservation.
I want to hear your oaths! Send videos, post a comment, host your own inauguration.
I'm here waving a flag in your honor!