2008. Leap year it was. I was a high schooler. The internet hadn’t had the penetration as we see today, at least in my country, India. Orkut was still a thing and Facebook was in its early years of gaining traction. Symbian phones ruled the smartphone markets. Most of the news about western world came through newspapers and TV news channels. The world was still trying hard to patch up the injuries from the subprime crisis. Oil prices were on the rise as usual. And there was this young man in his forties who had promised America the change it deserved, taking over United States as the 44th president, Barack Obama.
As a teenage boy the only American president I knew in those days was George W Bush. And over my teenage years through newspapers and television channels I have read and watched how powerful an American president is and what all he can do. But never had those fortitudes gripped my admiration for that position. And hence in 2008, when this Hawaii born american gentleman was taking over the presidentship of United States, I was least bothered. Why should I be? It had nothing to do with me, in those days, than remembering just his name as it’s good to be up-to-date with the general knowledge.
But in the years to come, everything was about to change. India, America, the World, I and with me my views as well as my dreams. We never knew the world was about to witness a Pop Culture leader that we all will be going to love.
Before Obama took over the Oval office, we the people from the east or at least I, equated America’s power to its invasion, warships and getting other nations to their terms through apprehension. But this man once again proved that the real strength of a leader lies not in threatening others but being empathetic and lending hands to the weak.
He showed us leaders can cry in public, they can dance in public and they can kiss their wife in public as any other common man. Though being the most powerful man in the world, at heart he remained just a man. It made him real, it made him relatable and it’s this modesty that has won him the hearts of millions not only in US but over the world.
His sense of humor is unparalleled. I have never seen another leader of the free world to be as cool as him. He never let his position take over his personality, his humanity and his humility. And that’s something we all should learn from him, not letting our positions and possessions take over the human in us.
I am no one to comment on what he has done or hasn’t not done for America in his term but I firmly believe that when history speaks of this person, he will be in the likes of most consequential presidents of America.
Dear America, Obama was your president but we too loved him and we will miss him!
I can’t close this note without sharing this beautiful video ‘Don’t Go: A Tribute to Obama’ by Jon Tarifa.