365: Day 191 – Reading A Promised Land

Today the first volume of Obama’s memoir was released, and today I started reading it. I have long admired this man, and the words in his book have captivated me from page 1. One of his greatest assets is his humility. There’s no denying that he saw his presidency as a service to the people of this nation and those beyond our borders. However, not everyone would agree and even have a negative opinion of his time in office. How is it that a person great and admirable to some can be found despicable to others? Is there such a thing as a leader loved by all?

Effecting change in people is difficult for some of them, if not all. It causes tension and friction. The only people who manage not to upset anyone are those without action or opinion. It brought to mind to things: Steve Jobs explaining that he liked seeing mistakes because it showed that at least decisions were being made; and it reminded me of the following wonderful poem:

YOU have no enemies, you say?
  Alas! my friend, the boast is poor;
He who has mingled in the fray
  Of duty, that the brave endure,
Must have made foes! If you have none,
Small is the work that you have done.
You’ve hit no traitor on the hip,
You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip,
You’ve never turned the wrong to right,
You’ve been a coward in the fight.

-Charles Mackay