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


Jillian said...

Well no wonder that story showed up in a Norwegian paper , they' re all socialists over there! ( Kidding) In all seriousness, though, most Americans, if they could afford to, would eagerly pay a hundred
dollars to ease the distress of a stranger under going unforseen hardship (especially if it short ens the time they spend waiting in a line at the airport! ) -- if you look at how America responds to natural disasters around the world you can see we're a generous
people! Being generous with money and with material posessions is good, but it's so easy!
Being stingy with money is a bad habit that it's easy to break one' sself of. But being stingy and ungenerous in spirit is much more difficult to stop, and yes, I speak from experience . True generosity means exercising tolerance,
forgiveness, patience, perseverence and in some cases , contrition . If it's generous to sacrifice money for the sake of seeing a fellow human being's pain abate , isn't it more generous to choose hard work and suffering to ease the comfo rt of all those around you? Not that Senat or Obama hasn' t done these thing s -- I know he is working very hard for all our sakes and enduring insults and even death threats on behal f the vast numbe r of Americans who yearn despe rately for a restoration of our country's promise. But in my life I know generosity of spirit is a quality worth developing .
Generosity with money , especially when it comes with the immediate gratification of seeing a desired result take place , is no more difficult than spending money on a book, a sandwich, a piece of jewel ry. :)

Baba said...

I like the it we need Barack for president Baba

Michelle said...

I knew right from the start that he's good people; this is a great story to have to back it up! Peace ~ M

Ron Rauscher said...

nice story . be blessed, ron

Melissa said...

thanks for such a heart warming story! happy halloween!

Rocky said...

Do we give credit to the man, or do we give credit to The Son of MAN? Obama is not the Saveor of man! Jesus Christ is the Only Way ! ! ! ! ! Give Credit where credit is due! ! ! !

Liz said...

Obama rocks ! That' s why he's got such a beautiful famil y -- they all need to be in the ' white ' house in Jan (we'll have to change that!)

The ghostboy said...

well put

Kate said...

Thanks Speech!
Always love to get reminders such as this that when I cast my vote, I did the right thing.
Not just for myself, or all of American. For all human life.
For anyone who who has lost faith that there is still good in this world.
Keep the faith.

Talia said...

This is Phenomenal! Inspiring! What great foreshadow of what/who "we" can become as a people!
This makes me proud and has been a great end to a week of trials and soul stirring moments. A great message before I go to bed.
I live in Seoul, South Korea
Forever a fan of yours,

Socialism said...

http://socialistworker. org/2008/10/31/is-obama-really-a-radical
Column: Lance Selfa [1]

Is Obama really a radical at heart?

If Obama is acting like a centrist now, it's most likely because he is a centrist--rather than a radical posing as one to get elected.

October 31, 2008

WITH LITTLE else to offer on its own behalf, the McCain-Palin ticket has built an entire campaign on ridiculing and demonizing Barack Obama. First, Obama was a neophyte. Then, he was a celebrity. Now, he's a dangerous radical, even a friend to terrorists.

This caricature of Obama reached its lowest point October 27, when a local Florida television anchor, Barbara West, interviewing Obama's running mate Joe Biden, quoted The Communist Manifesto and asked Biden to comment.

Biden responded, "Are you joking? Is this a joke?" Of course, Biden went on to explain that Obama isn't a socialist, but that his plans aimed to provide the "middle class" with a tax cut.

In the fevered imaginations of the right wing, Obama is a dangerous radical who is hiding behind a mask of cool "centrism." Once in office--and with a Democratic majority at his back--Obama will pull off the mask to reveal his true, radical agenda.

But in the camp of Obama supporters, a similar--if less crazed--analysis holds.

It goes this way: Obama is a genuine progressive who is dedicated to affecting major political and social changes. But because he's running in a generally conservative country, with the Republicans ready to pounce on his every misstep, he can't really lay out his full aspirations. So he has to reassure people, using the language of market-friendly "centrism." Once Obama is in office, goes the reasoning, progressives will have an ally who will work with them to produce the social change that they all want.

Given the crises facing the country, the widespread discredit that the Bush administration has brought on Republicans, and the poll-affirmed desire of the electorate for a clean break with policies of the past generation, an incoming Obama administration could be planning huge changes to the political economy of the U.S., akin to those of the 1930s New Deal.

Indeed, many liberal and left commentators have urged precisely this, with some calling for a "new New Deal" and others advocating measures to take advantage of a "social democratic moment."

Yet despite Obama's soaring rhetoric, he has actually advocated few policies that break with any of the accepted orthodoxy in Washington today.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

DURING THE primary campaign against Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, Obama often took stands on economic issues that placed him to right of Clinton's fake populism. As the scale of the housing crisis began to force its way into the primary campaign, Obama held back from support for a moratorium on foreclosures and government aid to strapped homeowners, when Edwards and Clinton advocated both.

By the summer of 2008, after clinching the nomination, Obama had recognized that it was untenable to maintain this "above the fray" attitude to the housing crisis. He (and free-market champion John McCain, for that matter) voted for the multibillion-dollar housing bill that passed the Congress. But it was telling that his first inclination on addressing the crisis was to take the position least offensive to financial interests and neoliberal dogma.

However the political season influences the emphasis or spin that Obama puts on different economic issues, we shouldn't forget that he's the one who hired "centrist," pro-free market economists like the University of Chicago's Austan Goolsbee and Wal-Mart defender Jason Furman as his top economic advisers.

While serving as Obama's chief economic adviser, Goolsbee was (and still is) the senior economist of the right-wing, pro-corporate Democratic Leadership Council. Other informal Obama advisers include such mainstream figures as billionaire investor Warren Buffett, former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker and former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.

At a July summit involving those figures and other corporate and Republican leaders, Obama highlighted a "bipartisan" approach to the economy that, although deliberately vague, seemed to countenance limited government intervention, but put emphasis on reduction of the federal deficit and aid to the private sector--in essence, a rehash of 1990s Clintonomics.

Similarly, Obama's record on foreign policy--for example, pledging to increase the size of the military and step up the war in Afghanistan--place him inside a growing consensus among "serious" Washington foreign policy experts. In fact, Obama is so conventional and "bipartisan" on foreign policy matters that his team has openly talked about asking Bush's Defense Secretary Robert Gates to stay on in his position under an Obama administration.

In reviewing this record, we should take the approach that the simplest explanation is the best one. If Obama acts like a "centrist," it's most likely because he is a centrist--rather than a radical posing as one.

However, the real world has a way of imposing itself on politicians, no matter their intentions. In the face of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, the free-market ideologues of the Bush administration have embarked on the largest government intervention in the economy in three-quarters of a century.
Ironically, on the same night that Obama used his 30-minute national infomercial to showcase his concern for ordinary people--including reaffirming his call for a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures--the Bush administration announced a multibillion-dollar plan to rewrite and subsidize more than 3 million mortgages facing foreclosure.
In other words, the right-wingers in the Bush administration were proposing a more far-reaching plan than the supposed "radical" Obama.
In office, the Obama administration will face many challenges like this that will force it to confront--and possibly, abandon--its moderate centrism. If it does--and if it moves toward a more populist stance--it won't be due to Obama's hidden radicalism. It will be due to his assessment of what the system needs to right itself.
In that sense, an Obama administration would be reminiscent of the Depression-era presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.
Despite some capitalists' complaints that the New Deal represented a step toward "socialism," Roosevelt and the New Dealers had no such intention. The New Deal helped to save capitalism from itself. And Roosevelt argued to his business critics, "I am the best friend the profit system ever had."

JMS said...

I dunno . . . this just sound s so much like all the " Bush stopp ed and praye d for the littl e boy in the hospi tal" type hagio graph ies that circu lated durin g the '00 elect ion. Witho ut a sourc e citat ion to back it up, I'm tempt ed to call shena nigan s. . . :) Not that it I don' t belie ve Obama would do this; perha ps he would . But it just seems too Norma n Rockw ell to be 100% true. Prove me wrong though. JMS

Nate said...

Wow, I am truly​ amaze​d!​ Oba-​Mao gave $103 to some woman​ so she could​ take her lugga​ge with her.​.​.​that'​s tough​,​ I mean reall​y physi​cally​/​menta​lly painf​ul.​ It puts McCai​n'​s time spent​ getti​ng his body broke​n as a POW into persp​ectiv​e.​.​.​.​ In any case,​ Oba-​Mao donat​es less (as a perce​ntage​)​ of his incom​e to chari​ty than McCai​n while​ telli​ng every​one he wants​ to force​ peopl​e to '​contr​ibute​'​ to '​chari​table​'​ cause​s which​ the gover​nment​ will admin​ister​.​ One thing​ is certa​in,​ he will make sure that he isn'​t subje​ct to these​ Marxi​st taxat​ion schem​es (​along​ with the rest of the corru​pt polit​ician​s on Capit​ol Hill in both parti​es)​.​ "​Great​er love has no one than this,​ that he lay down his life for his frien​ds.​"​ (​John 15:​13)​ - Oba-​Mao has never​ shown​ us he is willi​ng to live this passa​ge out.

Cutie Pie said...

Oh my goodness! I cried reading this. Just shows how real and great of a person that Barack Obama is.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah like this is really a true story!

Speech said...

I assume you're a McCain Supporter. ;-) I think so many of you miss the point of WHY so many favor Barack. It's because most of America is Sick of the pessimism, scare tactics and negative campaigning. I HOPE you will vote Obama tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Obama's whole message was one of pessism! That is the democrat foundation!

If this country is so bad off as Obama touts then why do so many people come here in droves to live here? They come here to prosper! Am millions of people do! It is a testament to how great this republic is!

Obama's campaign has embodied scare tactics, pessimism & negative campaigning....as a matter of fact so has McCain's!

They both have...but then again that is just politics in the good old U.S. of A.!