Carolyn Leighton

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At age 67, I have seen decades of racism and discrimination. I was born white, but every time I witnessed an attack - large and small - towards someone because their skin was a different color, because they looked, dressed, thought differently - from the time I was a young child - I felt as if I was being assaulted. I never thought the day would come when the MAJORITY of the population would rise above the lowest level of human behavior - racism - but my heart was singing last night, as I watched, through tears of joy our new President Elect Barack Obama being swept into Office.

This morning, I have renewed hope and inspiration - and renewed appreciation for the difference each one of us can and has made in shaping the future of America, the future of the world.

Yes We Can - Understand that, this is not just about America - in fact, in today's world, it is not just about our wonderful Country, but we finally have a President who understands that we are more than ever intrinsically linked to our brothers and sisters around the world.

And, finally, we have the gift of President Obama, the first President I have experienced since President Kennedy who deeply understands that, as humans around the world, we are all connected. We have a new President who has depth, a beautiful soul, the intellect we desperately need to handle whatever challenges come to us - and, best of all, someone who has inspired each of us to be our best, stand taller, take the high road, demonstrate kindness to each other as we face the future with renewed hope, commitment to each other and the knowledge that each of us faces unlimited possibilities for our future and the future of the world - YES WE CAN!

Regardless of your vote, we can each stand proud of the choice our country made last night - because we did not just chose a candidate, we chose principle, integrity, a set of values that many of us thought were gone forever - a person who deeply cares about ALL of us, the people of America, the people of the world. YES WE CAN!