I thought I would call your attention to two completely unrelated items that caught my eye this week . The first one is a photograph of Barack Obama that appeared on the Huffington Post the day after the election. When I saw Obama take the stage in Grant Park in Chicago after being elected I noticed his bearing seemed completely different. I noticed relief and exhaustion on his face. The authors of the Huffington Post story saw power, joy, grief and fatigue. It’s a powerful image of Barack Obama’s finest moment to date. Here’s what the authors had to say about Barack Obama as he took the stage after being elected President of the United States.
When Obama took the stage, we saw a man embodying a complex array of feeling. He looked tired, of course, and who wouldn’t be? A ten-year-old in the room, who hadn’t heard of the death of Barack’s grandmother, said “He looks sad.” It takes a deeply integrated person to let his grief be visible on a night of overwhelming victory. This is a key to his personality, and bodes well for the future of his presidency. It takes enormous strength to let your vulnerabilities rest so comfortably in yourself that they can be readily seen.
There was one emotion we’re glad was missing from Obama and the crowd in Grant Park: any sense of triumphant glee. We couldn’t help wondering if it would have been present in McCain’s supporters had the tables been turned. John McCain had to silence a few boos and jeers from his audience, but by and large they just looked sad, tired and meek.
Finally, we were deeply moved by Obama’s body language at the end, in the easy way he brought forth the other members of his and Biden’s family to share the stage. He seemed to melt into them, as if he knows deep in his bones that none of this is really about him as an individual ego. There’s a huge difference between needing to be the center of things and simply being in the middle of things. Somehow, despite all the adulation and glory (as well as the relentless attacks mounted by the other side) Obama still knows what he’s known all along: he’s one of us.
The second item is not nearly filled with the gravitas of the first item. This week in Kappa, Illinois a young golfer named Curt Hocker had…wait for it….5 holes-in-one in one week, including two in one round. According to a Golf Digest study, the odds of making one hole-in-one range from 5,000 to 33,000 to 1 but making 2 in one round the odds skyrocket to 67 million to one. Unbelievable. But here’s where the story gets a wee bit sticky for me. Hocker, also recorded 2 double eagles in the same round earlier this summer. A double eagle is three under par on one hole. For example, in order to score a double eagle on a par 5, one would need to hole out in 2 shots. It’s not impossible but check out these odds. Getting 1 double eagle is quoted at 6 million to one. There is no quote for two in one round. Here’s more perspective…Between 1983 to 2003, there were 631 aces on the PGA Tour but just 56 double-eagles – and never more than 6 in one year. Curt Hocker, congratulations but I hope you don’t mind if I am a little bit skeptical.