Sunday, April 19, 2009

In Search of...making a difference

So it's Sunday, and you know that if it's must be politics.

I want to start off by wishing a Happy Easter to all my Greek Orthodox friends, which of course include George Stephanopoulos, though "friend" is kind of stretching it a bit.

I know you've heard me gripe on previous Sundays about not learning anything new as I watched This Week with George Stephanopoulos, but today was different, and I want to acknowledge that. Today the show started off with Rahm Emanuel, a man I have previously described to only my closest circle as someone I would kiss hard on the mouth...and I assure you, I am seldom prone to that kind of remark.

For those of you who don't know who Rahm Emanuel is, well, first of all, shame on you, and second of all he's the White House Chief of Staff. (He was previously a Congressman from Illinois, and before that he was a senior advisor to President Clinton.) Rahm is the guy I'd want in my corner, the one who will not muck up the issues with regurgitated rhetoric, the one who will say it like it is, and be unrelenting for his cause, bill, candidate, or President. Rahm's the guy. And I don't just say that because he got his master's degree from my alma mater, Northwestern University.

So this was a pretty big week in politics, which included nationwide "tea party" protests, a public end to the United States' use of torture as a viable means of gaining information, and a reversal of Bush's environmental stand on greenhouse emissions and the damage they cause in the form of global warming (which Bush evidently wasn't sure really existed, despite all the scientific proof to the contrary). All in all, I came away from watching George Stephanopoulos' show more informed and thoroughly impressed by what President Obama has undertaken and accomplished in his less than 100 days in office. (If you ask me, stem cell research and this reversal of environmental policy alone was worth him getting elected, even if he did nothing else.)

President Obama's critics would say that he has compromised too much, hasn't taken a firm stand on anything, and is just enamored with the worldwide adulation that seems to follow him wherever he goes. As a matter of fact, I think his critics have said all that. But let's face it, they'd all be out of jobs if they said he's doing a great job and everything's just swell. The point is he is doing something to make a difference. Wouldn't it be nice if we all did something to make a difference?

Next up was John Boehner, House Minority Leader. Oh God, where to begin. I tried counting how many times he said the words "against" or "not in favor of," but I lost track and got dizzy. So, since I believe in the law of attraction, and that you get more of what you give your attention to - good or bad - I am not going to give anymore energy or attention to John Boehner. Just call me the anti-Fox News. Oh wait, that would be MSNBC, wouldn't it?!

Now to George Stephanopoulos. In a previous blog I asked him to call people on their stuff when they don't answer the questions he's asking. And today, he did just that. While I would love to flatter myself and think that George is reading my blog religiously, hanging on every word I say - I'm not an idiot. He's got better things to do with his time - like Twitter, or tweet, or whatever the heck it's called that everyone including Oprah is doing. But what if he did read it? And what if what I said about accountability really did make a difference? Wouldn't that be amazing?!! All I know is that when I watched This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning every criticism I previously voiced was rectified. I'd say it was a complete coincidence, but I don't believe in those.

So George, if you're reading this, thank you. Thank you for listening and making a difference in your program this morning so that I could come away more informed, and so that those who were elected to represent us are held accountable for their jobs. It re-instills my faith in people.

And speaking of reinstilling my faith, I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to mention Susan Boyle, the 47 year old singer who appeared on Britain's Got Talent and sang "I Dreamed a Dream." If you want to talk about making a difference on a global level, Susan has done it with one song. One song and she's changed the world. And how ridiculously appropriate a song choice!!! (Take notes, you American Idol kids.) She has taken a cynical and judgmental world, a youth-oriented and appearance-worshipping one, and shown us all that what is of value comes from within, that just being who we are and having the courage to try can make the biggest difference. Hers is more than a story about the underdog succeeding, hers is a message to us all that now is never too late to be who we're called to be, despite ridicule or even rolling of eyes. Oh, I could go on and on about Susan's audition because every time I watch the video I still cry. But it's hopeful tears.

So here's hoping for a world in which appearances don't matter as much as talent, courage, and integrity, a world in which beauty is defined by a new set of criteria.

Have a great Sunday everyone. Thanks for stopping by, and please tell your friends.


  1. Ilene, I read ALL your blogs just now, but I'm only posting to this one. YOU are da BOMB, girlfriend! Your writing is write on! AND it made me laugh and cry. There's no point for me in doing a point by point commentary, because I'm right there with you on all of it. But I just wanted to respond to your begging - um, request - to post a comment. But here's to bravery and really going for your dreams, once you actually articulate them down to the last detail. I tned to forget that little point - how can the universe fulfill your dreams if you don't tell it exactly what you want? So as soon as I finish here, I'm going to write it all down! Thanks for the inspiration! Love blessings and prosperity to you, Ilene, plus 3 #1 crossover hits, a best selling book and that meeting with George Stephanopoulos.


  2. Thank you SOOOO much!! I can't even tell you how much it means to me that you read ALL of them, not to mention liked them! Wow!