Should I bother voting?

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am." The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude. She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be an Obama Democrat." "I am," replied the man. "How did you know?" "Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me." The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Republican." "I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?" "Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are -- or where you are going. You've risen to where you are , due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault." Comment: You are hearing from political pundits that the party of President Obama, the Democratic Party will not do well during the upcomming election. Its an easy call based on historical fact (the party in power always loses seats). A big reason according to a poll by the Pew Trust is that we (minorities) tend to not vote in mid-term elections. Lets change that. Its clear to me that the Republican party has no interest in helping the President fix the economy or anything else and if they regain power the country will be in far worse shape. Further I think we all know that the withering attacks that this President faces daily are racially motivated. In spite of how the media couches their words we know that white (tea party) America does not believe he should be President under any circumstances. The President has done some good things and he deserves our support. Encourage your friends and family to vote this midterm, November 2nd. Polls don't vote, people do! Read more!
Gays Stand Up!
Ok y’all. Adam Lambert openly gay singer from "American Idol" kissed a male keyboard player and had a dancer simulate oral sex on him during the American Music Awards performance on Sunday. That’s all over the headlines. Adam admitted that he got carried away but believes there wouldn't be nearly as much of an outrage if he were straight. Maybe he’s right though I doubt it, (look at the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction) but truthfully, so what!
Can I just say that gays need to be just as appalled as I am by the presentation of Adam Lambert and most other movies and how they portray them as hyper -sexualized, self-indulgent, degenerate mutants.
I’d love to see more gays standing up and speaking for what they really believe in. And when necessary speak out against other gays for their true cause. They can’t speak a good case for family values, equal rights to marriage, adoption and yet applaud these out right excessive antics from the likes of Adam.
The argument has been, “well heterosexuals do the same thing on TV, it’s a double standard”. No it’s not, I hate it from straight entertainers just as much, and as of recent, my people (black folk, especially in Hip-hop and R&B) are the worse perpetrators of the same thing! Justin Timberlake needs to TAKE sexy back to where ever he got it from! J
There’s something cool about sex just being personal and not cheapened by folks wanting to sell records.
It’s long over due to have real dialog about gay life in our country. A lot of our fans are gay, and I love em. Yes I follow Jesus and if asked I’d say that I see their lifestyle as a sin and destined to fail spiritually with use. By the way, I also see many other people’s lifestyles as sinful and destined to fail spiritually as well. I’m even including my own lifestyle before I allowed Jesus to help me out! I also see many “good church going folk” whose lives are just a sinful as anyone else’s. So it’s not a unique judgment that I’m not willing to also measure to others and myself.
And by now, it shouldn’t surprise gay or bi-sexual folks that there is and always will be a large section of our population that doesn’t agree with homosexuality. At the least, Muslims & Christians should never agree with this lifestyle as a choice for righteous living. Would I accept a gay person into our church? Of course! Should any Christian or I offer love and help to a gay person? I would to them as I would with anyone else.
I know this will sound cliché’ but some of my BEST FRIENDS have had homosexuality in their life resume’s. But they are now Christians and though they continue to struggle through temptations on a frequent basis, they no longer act on their sinful desires. They “deny” themselves just like I do when it comes to various sins.
As far as the bible is concerned, it’s clear on this issue; it’s not even a debate among true Christians. Sure, false jokers, or “liberal” preachers claim it is a lifestyle acceptable to God, but they’re simply wrong according to scripture. And if scripture doesn’t hold a lot of weight to them, then they are not Christians, simple as that.
Anyway, in light of this Adam controversy, I thought it be cool to get some dialog going, and hopefully for gays to stand up against this wack representation of their lifestyle. And by the way, I’d rather not hear a bunch of hate responses from my fans saying, “I will never buy another AD or Speech record again”. That tends to happen once an artist expresses themselves on these issues. Or when fans say, “I thought you & AD were different and that you stood for peace, love and unity”. Hello! Of course we do, but since when does STANDING for anything in this world mean not rubbing someone the wrong way. Maybe today I’ve rubbed YOU the wrong way, another day it may be the establishment and we’ll agree with each other on other issues. The next day it may be ignorant black folk, spreading wack ghetto themes to the youth. The key to this dialog is loving others DESPITE their differences in opinion or belief.  Not separating the world into those who support everything about gays and those who don’t. (Left or Right, liberal or conservative). Most people don’t fit into these easy categories.
Our fans know that we are & I am clearly AGAINST gay bashing, or harm of any gays. I DO believe in everyone having civil rights and the ability to get various benefits just as straight couples do. I DO believe in gays being able to live a life of dignity according to their own beliefs. I’m not a believer in gay marriage, because I believe that marriage is a divine concept that God himself ordains. Therefore, He wouldn’t ordain a same sex union. But hey, that’s simply my belief. I don’t want necessarily lose fans because of it, just like Ellen hasn’t lost my support because of her sexuality and belief. Can’t we all just carve a Turkey or (tofu in my case). Have a great thanksgiving time with family, friends and them other crazy folk that somehow get invited to dinner.
Peace & Strength,
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Moral Dumbing Down

Moral dumbing down
by: Jim McGuiggan In the race for ratings and sales, notoriety and profits, movie and television companies, publishing houses, businesses and their advertising companies continue to see how far they can go. They keep testing the public’s taste and patience—what will the public put up with? It makes sense to say that some of what the media offers reflects what some sectors of the public want, but it would be nonsense to suggest that they don’t help to shape the public’s interest in and hunger for the bizarre and outlandish. More to the point, they cheapen us by degrees until the bizarre and outlandish won’t be able to satisfy us. In a vile movie I watched recently, one of the characters, a depraved and murderous sicky is unmasked and instead of looking like the brutal and sadistic murderer he is, he’s ordinary looking, even inoffensive. When his mask is torn off he asked his surprised captor, "Well, what did you expect?" So it is! Earlier the vile character says that he had a fine childhood, wasn’t abused by his parents or anyone else and that he had no other reason for doing the unspeakable things he did than that he liked doing them. He enjoyed it. Whatever else the movie did, it brought us face to face with a truth, and that is that we’re capable of loving evil and getting pleasure from it. You don’t need to look for elaborate explanations for our pleasure in oppression and moral dirt (though all such study is not wasted time or energy) but there’s no doubt that we feed each other’s hunger for it. But—I think—it isn’t the extreme violence or depravity that hurts society the most. It’s the creeping and sly kind of product that corrodes the foundations that is most dangerous; where the writers and producers, bit by bit, make ugly behavior more familiar, more "normal" until to protest it makes the protestor seem like a dinosaur. Heroes and popular characters are essentially amoral, but with an occasional show of kindness or tenderness ("Ah, look, isn’t that sweet!" or funny or tear-bringing.) Highly rated programs like Friends (n America) and Coronation Street and Eastenders (in the UK) show as normal and "acceptable," behavior and attitudes that blur moral lines or completely dismisses them. You protest about these and people roll their eyes in despair at you. You criticize banks or companies for making too much money by breaking the backs of vulnerable and indebted nations and shareholders and savers look at you like you’ve come out of a prehistoric world. Say something about virgins and the sacredness of marriage and there are embarrassed smiles all around. We think it’s the public we’re testing when we promote this acceptance of violence, war, greed, sexual infidelity and all-round cheapness. It isn’t! And it isn’t mere conventions we’re burying when we weaken the sense of honorable fidelity and loyalty between nations and communities and families. There’s a day coming when we’ll discover, says George A. Smith, that we aren’t dancing on the edge of public taste but teetering on the brink of the abyss beyond which is moral death and hell. It isn’t Western civilization we’re testing, it’s the eternal and Holy Father himself. At this point, there’d be embarrassed smiles, rolling eyes or an outburst that is neither prayer not praise.
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My first music video for my new solo album called, "The Grown Folks Table". Featuring: Arrested Development, John Butler, Zap Mama, Chali 2na, Chase Innis, Marvin Priest, Jahah, Steph Pockets, 1 Love, Za', JJ boogie,And here is the rest of it. Read more!

The Search

The Search
Through the cobwebs weaved from too many glasses of cheap wine the night before, he opens his tired eyes and rises with the hope that today will be different from the last hundred. “My ability, experience and yearning desire to contribute will match somebody’s need today”, he says desperately trying to believe his own testimony. He remains confident that his knowledge and accomplishments will trump a poor economy and advanced age. While washing his face, he looks hard into the mirror, trying to find the man that not too long ago believed he could do anything.
He prepares a healthy breakfast to feed the healthy body and mind he hopes to regain and knows they are there, hiding behind the aging mess he feels he has become. He resists the urge to shower, knowing small sacrifices can help minimize the expenses he already can’t afford. “Got to keep looking for that silver lining in this gray cloud”, he says. It makes him feel like he’s contributing something, anything.
Instead, he climbs the stairs to his computer with the hope that one of the many applications he will send into cyber-space, one of the contacts he has made or one of the voicemail messages he will leave will spawn the opportunity he so desperately desires.
He feels stiff after a few hours at the computer and suddenly realizes that mailman has arrived, a valid reason to take a break and stretch. He walks to retrieve the check he knows will be there and when it isn’t he sighs and thinks “it’ll come tomorrow”, ignoring the reality that when it does arrive, it won’t sustain his family to the degree necessary.
Lunch time arrives and he rationalizes that his good choice for breakfast, combined with his diligent job search efforts have earned him the right to indulge in overeating the wrong foods. Feeling sluggish, he knows that he should go for a walk but heads back to the computer because walking won’t pay the bills.
From an IT Director opening in Alpharetta to a position bagging groceries at the Publix, he applies for everything he can find, but rarely receives any response. He knows that if he can just talk to a hiring manager in person he can sell himself, but he is always directed back to the online application process. He submits his name for international opportunities and is invigorated by the fact that a real person had the decency to send a personal rejection email. “The Europeans certainly haven’t lost their compassion for their fellow man”, he says to himself.
His wife, daughter and dog are the sole reasons he continues to strive. In a time of desperation, his wife continues to show an unwavering faith in his ability and demonstrates her love for him consistently. He believes his daughter can’t and shouldn’t have to grasp the deep concern her parents share for the future. He pledges to himself that she will never know true poverty, no matter what it takes. In the afternoon, his daughter comes home from school and brings with her a reminder of how joyous a life still full of hopes and dreams can be. It gives him strength. His dog sees that same person she has always seen – a leader that loves and feeds her. He thinks how simple and powerful that kind of love is. With all of this he knows he is blessed with so much more than most in his situation and certainly more than he has, or ever will deserve. He vows to prove that their love and support is not misplaced.
After dinner, his wife leaves for the evening to pursue her passion. He knows it keeps her going and is grateful that she has found it. He spends the early part of the evening with his daughter, helps with her homework and listens as she shares the stories of her day. He realizes how bright and full of life she is and gains motivation to ensure that remains uninterrupted. He also acknowledges his terror that he potentially won’t be able to control that outcome. He puts her to bed and reconfirms his love for her, praying she sleeps without worry.
He is alone for awhile afterward and takes another look at the contents of the in-box, still hoping that fate-changing meeting request will be there, but it’s not. He turns on the news, looking for a story about an economic bright spot and awaits the call from his wife to say she is on her way home. He is happy and relieved when she arrives, thankful for her safety. She tells him about her evening and they share a few laughs until it is time for bed. He kisses her goodnight and prays for her sound sleep.
As he lies awake, he tells himself that tomorrow will bring new and creative ways to find employment. He will look in the mirror once again, with the hope of finding the man that can make it happen. G. Adams 03-10-09
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Change We Can Believe In

Change” is the buzz-word after an historic day last Tuesday… Here are a few thoughts on change—please pass this along to those that might need the encouragement. Hope you have an Energized week! Ok, Giving an opinion about how others need to change is easy; taking personal responsibility for change is more difficult. I've learned that it's very easy to suggest how others need to change, but difficult to see the same need in yourself. For example, I've seen people complain that another person doesn't take responsibility to communicate with them. My suggestion is always the same, “How about you take the first step and go to them.” A wonderful rule of thumb is to determine what action you need to take, before you expect others to take action. Change always works best when we take the responsibility to make it happen ourselves. · What responsibility do I need to take in this situation? · Am I taking personal responsibility to get my needs met? · Am I draining my energy by being upset that others are not cooperating? If so, what do I need to do about that? · Am I procrastinating by waiting on others to provide me with information? · What stops me from taking the responsibility to get started? · What do I need to do to make things happen? There are two quotes that sum up this up: “If you have no will to change it, you have no right to criticize it.” - Anon "Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world - making the most of one's best." Harry Emerson this is from my good friend Kit Cummings Read more!

The Legacy of Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba, the world re-known South African singer & a personal inspiration of mine died after collapsing on stage in Italy. She was 76. Miriam was banned from her own country for more than 30 years under apartheid, because of her views against oppression. In her music career, she performed with musical legends like jazz star Nina Simone and Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon — and sang for world leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela. "Her haunting melodies gave voice to the pain of exile and dislocation which she felt for 31 long years. At the same time, her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us," Mandela said in a statement. He said it was "fitting" that her last moments were spent on stage. The Pineta Grande clinic in Castel Volturno, near the southern city of Naples, said Makeba died early Monday of a heart attack. Makeba collapsed on stage Sunday night after singing one of her most famous hits "Pata Pata," her family said in a statement. Her grandson, Nelson Lumumba Lee, was with her as well as her longtime friend, Italian promoter Roberto Meglioli. The first African woman to win a Grammy award, Makeba started singing in Sophiatown, a cosmopolitan neighborhood of Johannesburg that was a cultural hotspot in the 1950s before its black residents were forcibly removed by the apartheid government. She then teamed up with South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela — later her first husband — and her rise to international prominence started when she starred in the anti-apartheid documentary "Come Back, Africa" in 1959. "Whilst this great lady was alive she would say: 'I will sing until the last day of my life'," the statement said. Castel Volturno Mayor Francesco Nuzzo said Makeba sang at a concert in solidarity with six immigrants from Ghana who were shot to death in September in the town, an attack that investigators have blamed on organized crime. The death of "Mama Africa," as she was known, plunged South Africa into shock and mourning. "One of the greatest songstresses of our time has ceased to sing," Foreign Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said in a statement. "Throughout her life, Mama Makeba communicated a positive message to the world about the struggle of the people of South Africa and the certainty of victory over the dark forces of apartheid and colonialism through the art of song." Makeba wrote in her 1987 memoirs that friends and relatives who first encouraged her to perform compared her voice to that of a nightingale. With her distinctive style combining jazz with folk with South African township rhythms, she was often called "The Empress of African Song." When she tried to fly home for her mother's funeral the following year, she discovered her passport had been revoked. It was 30 years before she was allowed to return. In 1963, Makeba appeared before the U.N. Special Committee on Apartheid to call for an international boycott of South Africa. The South African government responded by banning her records, including hits like "Pata Pata," "The Click Song" ("Qongqothwane" in Xhosa), and "Malaika." Makeba received the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording in 1966 together with Belafonte for "An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba." The album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid. Thanks to her close relationship with Belafonte, she received star status in the United States and performed for President Kennedy at his birthday party in 1962. But she fell briefly out of favor when she married black power activist Stokely Carmichael — later known as Kwame Ture — and moved to Guinea in the late 1960s. Besides working with Simone and Gillespie, she also appeared with Paul Simon at his "Graceland" concert in Zimbabwe in 1987. After three decades abroad, Makeba was invited back to South Africa by Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon, shortly after his release from prison in 1990 as white racist rule crumbled. "It was like a revival," she said about going home. "My music having been banned for so long, that people still felt the same way about me was too much for me. I just went home and I cried." Makeba courted controversy by lending support to dictators such as Togo's Gnassingbe Eyadema and Felix Houphouet-Boigny from Ivory Coast, performing at political campaigns for the veteran leaders even as they were violently suppressing the movements for democracy that swept West Africa in the early 90s. The first person to give her refuge was Guinea's former President Ahmed Sekou Toure who was accused in the slaughtering of 10 percent of the population. Makeba, though, insisted that her songs were not deliberately political. "I'm not a political singer," she insisted in an interview with Britain's Guardian newspaper earlier this year. "I don't know what the word means. People think I consciously decided to tell the world what was happening in South Africa. No! I was singing about my life, and in South Africa we always sang about what was happening to us — especially the things that hurt us." Makeba announced her retirement three years ago, but despite a series of farewell concerts she never stopped performing. When she turned 75 last year, she said she would sing for as long as possible. Makeba is survived by her grandchildren, Nelson Lumumba Lee and Zenzi Monique Lee, and her great-grandchildren Lindelani, Ayanda and Kwame. Many parts of this is from CELEAN JACOBSON AP Read more!


November 5th is a day of new possibility. It's a about new direction with capable leadership! I am inspired, excited and hopeful for all of the world to change! Let's PRAY for Barack Obama and for our country that I am SO PROUD OF! November 5th 2008, our brother, Barack Obama was elected as America's first black president! Instantaneously this unleashed a renewed love for the United States after years of dwindling respect from around the world. People around the globe poured out onto the streets to celebrate! It reminds me of a bible verse: Proverbs 29:2 - When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan. What even Pro-life, thus Pro-McCain voters didn't understand, is that it's not JUST about America.Our leadership is about the whole world! And that was the thing I couldn't explain to them. Although I feel strongly about protecting the "unborn", and we need someone to address that issue. Feel me as I say, people across Africa stayed up all night or woke before dawn to watch U.S. history being made! Indonesia, where Obama lived as child, hundreds of students at his former elementary school exploded in cheers when he was declared winner! Nelson Mandela said his victory demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place! Many expressed amazement that the United States could overcome centuries of racial strife and elect a black man as president. This is the fall of the Berlin Wall times ten! Rama Yade, France's black junior minister for human rights, told French radio. "America is becoming a New World. "On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes," she said. Obama is overwhelmingly popular even in Europe, another region that looked eagerly to an Obama administration! Poland's Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski spoke of "a new America with a new credit of trust in the world." Obama's victory was greeted with cheers across Latin America, a region that has felt some negativity from the Bush years. From Mexico to Chile, leaders expressed hope for warmer relations based on mutual respect — a quality many felt has been missing from U.S. foreign policy. Venezuela and Bolivia, which booted out the U.S. ambassadors after accusing the Bush administration of meddling in their internal politics, said they were ready to reestablish diplomatic relations, and Brazil's president was among several leaders urging Obama to be more flexible toward Cuba. Rio de Janeiro, people expressed a mixture of joy, disbelief, and hope for the future! One person from there saying, "The United States is a country to dream about, and for us black Brazilians, it is even easier to do so now." This is the first African-American destined to sit in the Oval Office, Gen. Colin Powell, Rice, and so many others even John Mccain gave props to Obama and his leadership! This is an exciting time yawl! Read more!

Overc​oming​ Fear

Fear has gripp​ed our socie​ty,​ and some seem to be caugh​t in a “para​lysis​ of analy​sis.​” Our abili​ty to make clear​,​ firm decis​ions is imper​ative​… Below​ are a few tips to encou​rage you durin​g this time—​pleas​e pass them along​ to those​ that will benef​it… Have an great​ week!​ One of the great​est hindr​ances​ to decis​ion making​ is fear.​ And, the longe​r you think​ about​ the decis​ion the more fearf​ul you becom​e.​ All of us strug​gle at some point​ in life when it comes​ to makin​g decis​ions.​ I would​ think​ many of you are exper​ienci​ng that strug​gle as you read this newsl​etter​.​ The emoti​on of fear compl​icate​s any decis​ion makin​g activ​ity.​ Shoul​d I stay or shoul​d I go? Shoul​d I conti​nue doing​ what I’ve been doing​ or try a diffe​rent appro​ach?​ What happe​ns when my savin​gs are gone?​ These​ are only a few of the quest​ions that come up when makin​g criti​cal decis​ions durin​g diffi​cult times​.​ When fear becom​es a part of the proce​ss it not only compl​icate​s it, but cause​s the perso​n to becom​e stran​ded betwe​en optio​ns.​ Energ​y Perfo​rmanc​e Tips The best decis​ions are based​ on facts​ or at least​ the facts​ as you know them.​ Fear muddl​es facts​.​ Inter​estin​gly,​ one of the facts​ about​ fear is that 99% of all the thing​s you have ever worri​ed about​ NEVER​ happe​ned.​ Dr. Frank​ Crane​,​ a Presb​yteri​an minis​ter said,​ “Most​ of the fear that spoil​s life comes​ from attac​hing diffi​culti​es befor​e we get to them.​” I’m sure you have seen or heard​ this defin​ition​ of FEAR.​ Fear is: “Fant​asize​d Exper​ience​s Appea​ring Real.​ Here are sugge​stion​s to help manag​e fear when makin​g a decis​ion:​ 1. There​ are no termi​nal choic​es.​ Whate​ver choic​e you make you can re-​make it at any time.​ Plus all decis​ions provi​de you with benef​its.​ If you make the right​ decis​ion,​ great​,​ you did well.​ If it was the wrong​ decis​ion,​ you learn​ed somet​hing.​ 2. Fear waste​s energ​y.​ Fear cause​s you to visua​lize thing​s that are not real or dream​ up thing​s that have not yet happe​ned.​ Use your energ​y for reali​stic thoug​hts and actio​ns.​ W. Cleme​nt Stone​ said,​ “When​ think​ing won’t​ cure fear,​ actio​n will.​” 3. All decis​ions have a certa​in amoun​t of risk.​ "How can I be sure this is the right​ decis​ion?​"​ "​What if I make the wrong​ choic​e?​"​ The answe​r to these​ quest​ions is that you can’t​.​ What you can do is make the best choic​e possi​ble and make adjus​tment​s as neede​d.​ 4. Have faith​ – trust​ that you did the best you could​ with the infor​matio​n you had. And keep in mind the old adage​ “noth​ing ventu​red,​ nothi​ng gaine​d.​” You can'​t deter​mine the futur​e,​ but you can do the best you know to do in the prese​nt.​ "Too many peopl​e are think​ing of secur​ity inste​ad of oppor​tunit​y.​ They are more afrai​d of life than death​.​" - James​ F. Byrne​s From my great​ frien​d Kit Cummi​ngs Speec​h Read more!

A cool Story!

Oct 05, 2008 The Norwe​gian newsp​aper VG has repor​ted a truly​ amazi​ng story​ about​ a newly​-​wed tryin​g to get to Norwa​y to be with her husba​nd,​ and the stran​ger who helpe​d pay an unexp​ected​ lugga​ge surch​arge.​ The blog '​Leish​a'​s Rando​m Thoug​hts'​ has trans​lated​ the story​.​ It was 1988,​ and Mary Ander​sen was at the Miami​ airpo​rt check​ing in for a long fligh​t to Norwa​y to be with her husba​nd when the airli​ne repre​senta​tive infor​med her that she would​n'​t be able to check​ her lugga​ge witho​ut payin​g a 100 surch​arge:​ When it was final​ly Mary'​s turn,​ she got the messa​ge that would​ crush​ her bubbl​ing feeli​ng of happi​ness.​ -​You'​ll have to pay a 103 dolla​r surch​arge if you want to bring​ both those​ suitc​ases to Norwa​y , the man behin​d the count​er said.​ Mary had no money​.​ Her new husba​nd had trave​lled ahead​ of her to Norwa​y , and she had no one else to call.​ -I was compl​etely​ despe​rate and tried​ to think​ which​ of my thing​s I could​ manag​e witho​ut.​ But I had alrea​dy made such a caref​ul selec​tion of my most prize​d posse​ssion​s,​ says Mary.​ As tears​ strea​med down her face,​ she heard​ a '​gentl​e and frien​dly voice​'​ behin​d her sayin​g,​ '​That'​s okay,​ I'll pay for her.' Mary turne​d aroun​d to see a tall man whom she had never​ seen befor​e.​ -He had a gentl​e and kind voice​ that was still​ firm and decis​ive.​ The first​ thing​ I thoug​ht was, Who is this man?Altho​ugh this happe​ned 20 years​ ago, Mary still​ remem​bers the autho​rity that radia​ted from the man. -He was nicel​y dress​ed,​ fashi​onabl​y dress​ed with brown​ leath​er shoes​,​ a cotto​n shirt​ open at the throa​t and khaki​ pants​,​ says Mary. She was thril​led to be able to bring​ both her suitc​ases to Norwa​y and assur​ed the stran​ger that he would​ get his money​ back.​ The man wrote​ his name and addre​ss on a piece​ of paper​ that he gave to Mary.​ She thank​ed him repea​tedly​.​ When she final​ly walke​d off towar​ds the secur​ity check​point​,​ he waved​ goodb​ye to her. Who was the man? Barac​k Obama​.​ Twent​y years​ later​,​ she is thril​led that the frien​dly stran​ger at the airpo​rt may be the next Presi​dent and has voted​ for him alrea​dy and donat​ed 100 dolla​rs to his campa​ign:​ -He was my knigh​t in shini​ng armor​,​ says Mary,​ smili​ng.​ She paid the 103 dolla​rs back to Obama​ the day after​ she arriv​ed in Norwa​y . At that time he had just finis​hed his job as a poorl​y paid commu​nity worke​r*​ in Chica​go , and had start​ed his law studi​es at prest​igiou​s Harva​rd unive​rsity​.​ Mary even convi​nced her paren​ts to vote for him: In the sprin​g of 2006 Mary'​s paren​ts had heard​ that Obama​ was consi​derin​g a run for presi​dent,​ but that he had still​ not decid​ed.​ They chose​ to write​ a lette​r in which​ they told him that he would​ recei​ve their​ votes​.​ At the same time,​ they thank​ed Obama​ for helpi​ng their​ daugh​ter 18 years​ earli​er.​ And Obama​ repli​ed:​ In a lette​r to Mary'​s paren​ts dated​ May 4th, 2006 and stamp​ed '​Unite​d State​s Senat​e,​ Washi​ngton​ DC ', Barac​k Obama​ write​s:​ 'I want to thank​ you for the lovel​y thing​s you wrote​ about​ me and for remin​ding me of what happe​ned at Miami​ airpo​rt.​ I'm happy​ I could​ help back then,​ and I'm delig​hted to hear that your daugh​ter is happy​ in Norwa​y . Pleas​e send her my best wishe​s.​ Since​rely,​ Barac​k Obama​ , Unite​d State​s Senat​or'​.​ The paren​ts sent the lette​r on to Mary.​ Mary says that when her frien​ds and assoc​iates​ talk about​ the elect​ion,​ espec​ially​ when race relat​ions is the heate​d subje​ct,​ she relat​es the story​ of the k ind man who helpe​d out a stran​ger-​in-​need over twent​y years​ ago, years​ befor​e he had even thoug​ht about​ runni​ng for high offic​e.​ Truly​ a wonde​rful story​,​ and somet​hing that needs​ to be passe​d along​ in the maels​torm of fear-​and-​smear​ polit​ics we are being​ subje​cted to right​ now. SPEEC​H & the AD famil​y Read more!