2021/09/25

A Promised Land



Finally completed the reading of this 700 pages book last night, you can see how it was being "tortured" by me :P even though it's a hardcover version, the book jacket was fragile. I've using almost 6 months to complete because I could only had time to read before bed, which was about 1 to 2 hours at most, sometimes it was really tired but this book is worth to spend time with. 

As far as I could remember when I saw it in a MTR book store, it attracted me by it's thick spine at once; there was only two copies up there on the very top of the shelving,  I grabbed it right away and decided to bring back home after reading the blurb. 

In this six months, I ran through a "tough journey" leading by the author, an unusual one, the 44thpresident of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama. A journey of how his “bet” make changes for his people; the barriers of partisan & pressure that had to be overcome; burden of duties deep inside, both his country & family…with strong & true beliefs of democracy, justice, hope, that could bring especially to the African Americans; a better future that could be built & the most important ~ love, that should have as a real human being…

It’s an extraordinary experience to know the routine & tremendous supporting team in White House, the wide scope of issues that he had to consider prior to make any decision that might affect the majority as well as the minority. But behind the scene, there were always had some lonely nights/ moments that Obama was struggled to give & take. 

There was a message I kept receiving throughout the book is , whenever he received a letter or a voice from a citizen/kid, a message of a missing pilot, a visit of an injured soldier or the 911 families…all these will once again reminding himself why to step into the government in his first place, reminding him of being a humble president, as well as a better person.

I have to say I did enjoy very much while reading this book, because it is not only a memoir of a president, or a record of what he did during his presidency. Obama didn’t hide the actual feeling of disappointment, anger or depress whenever he felt; compromise that had to be made most of the time for a bill to pass through, but at least, some achievement that benefit to the country could still be made.

What I do believe “Passion to become better” is the key and only when human don’t pretend themselves as God, “Yes we can!”

p.s.- I'm thinking, what a blessing for a country to have a president like Barack Obama. 

 
還記得在三月的ー個下午, 上完課回程途經美孚港鐵站内的書局, 毎次總會入内尋寳, 當天也不例外. 在書架最高處, 厚厚的書脊吸引着我, 原來是美國總統奥巴馬的 "A Promised Land". 我對政治算不得上有興趣, 但對自傳, 尤其是有視野和胸襟的人卻是例外. 幸好剛剛夠高 :D 於是一手取下先看封面及封底~ 相片拍得很美, 尤其是書背的ー張, 完全捕捉到作者的神緖和情懷,很喜歡. 再翻開書内看簡介, 看罷, 決定買下, 開始了這漫長而又期待的閲讀旅程.

我説是旅程, 真的, 在整整六個月的時日, 我總會在僅餘的睡前一至两小時, 翻開這本長達七百多頁的書本, 讓奥巴馬帶我遊走於他的政治旅途, 既艱辛卻又滿有意義和感恩. 事實上, 有時工作後實在疲倦, 但仍很想看一章, 或至少ー個段落, 因為很値得;在很多個晚上,藉着文章的內容,讓我覺得本來看似很絕望的世界,又再次浮現絲絲美善的盼望,得到不少安慰。

政治世界從來複雜多變,某程度上作者是憑着單純的初心,盼望可以激勵國民(人)去創建一個滿有公義、和平、平等的世界,一個更美好的將來,對非藉美國的公民/青少年的一代意義尤其重要。在龐大的白宮團隊支持之下,奧巴馬仍然必須經歷無數在民主社會下存在的國會投票,才能推動一些議案;即使要作出某些侷部的妥協,只要能對國民有利,他們還是會堅持行下去。在很多議案推行之前,作為總統的他,要考慮的事情及層面甚廣,從他敘述在白宮的日常可得知。其實除了背負著工作(國家)的重擔外,他在書中也不時提及對家人的一點點歉疚(也有對團隊,支持者及家人的無限感激),並自己在得失之下的感受…我想,就是這個第44任美國總統非常人性的一面,沒有刻意隱藏自己的軟弱。

書中提及在不少個無奈的晚上,奧巴馬獨自靜下來的時刻,他還是會因著收過一封市民的感謝信,聽過一個工人的故事,看見過一個非藉小孩的微笑;又或是在探訪傷兵/911 遇難者家屬,為着執行任務失而復得的機師⋯等等,等等而再次回想自己要進入政府工作的初心,為此,明天又會重新出發。

事實上這本書有太多太多內容,並非單單是一本回憶錄或工作報告。當我在閲讀到書本後期的時候,正藉美軍全面撤離阿富汗,塔利班重掌政權之際;有時在政治圈外的平民如我,腦中也會浮現大大小小的"為什麼?"消息傳出的那個晚上,我在書中找到一些事情始末的㾗跡。同時,又令我反思,要批評政府的決定不難,但又有多少次是在我們能夠明白個中的利害取捨才去作出真正公道的批判,甚或指控呢?

要持守創造更美好的世界這份熱誠,讓自己能成為一個更好的人,卻沒有因為掌握大權而扮演上帝,談何容易?

美國公民曾經有奧巴馬這一位總統,我想,是福氣。

 



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