A Truer Choice

“We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.”

Barack Hussein Obama’s speech a few moments ago was sophisticated, muscular, ambitious, unapologetic. At the same time it accessed a certain humility and reverence, laced with several metaphors for old American ideals. Yet, the sentence that made my eyes sting was a short one: “We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” How staggeringly powerful. How poignant. How far-reaching to all issues in life, global or personal. It is but human to be motivated by self-preservation (“safety” in Obama’s sentence). But our humanness would be transcended if each of us could, at significant turns, raise ourselves over and above self-preservation – whether of body, material possessions or ego – and access higher values and ideals. Perhaps then, our choice would be a truer choice.

I’m overjoyed all over again that I had the opportunity to contribute a drop in the sea in the making of history.

Congratulations to America and all the World for embracing change today!

Last 5 posts by Shahana Dattagupta


  1. Khushi

    That is a powerful statement. And today is a very important validation of democratic ideals

  2. sarmila.basu

    A very Powerful statementindeed! let’s hope for a better America!!

  3. Khushi

    I logged on to CNN to read Obama’s speech (I had missed his speech part of the inaugaration :)) and was mortified to find myself clicking ‘First lady’s dress unveiled’ first!

  4. Tana

    Khusi, that is too funny:-) And how courageous of you to write about it. It does strike one that while the world and media waited with bated breath to hear the Presiden’t speech, all they waited for on the First Lady was what she would wear (and we’re all secretly on that bandwagon). I guess even though a black man became President today, we have a long way to go on women’s issues!

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