●歐巴馬有兩個女兒─10歲的瑪莉亞和7歲的莎莎,最近他寫了一封信給她們,這封信14日在「人群雜誌」 (Parade Magazine)刊了出來,並且成了全國新聞,因為他在信裏說,他選總統,就是為了兩個女兒。
當然,他在信裏也說,他是為了美國下一代的其他孩子而選總統;當總統就是要確保下一代有良好教育,有了良好教育,就可以找到好工作,有了好工作,就有健保和退休保障。他又提到,他對美國的憧憬─不要戰爭要和平,國內要團結不要對立,社會要公平等。這些看起來,都帶有他的政綱的影子,讓人感到他順勢作宣傳。

不過,信裏也顯露了真情,因為其中的一些話,只有在他的特殊處境,才可以說得出來。例如,他說過去兩年在競選期間,少見女兒,她們隨著競選,到各州旅行,參觀博覽會,大吃垃圾食物,had a lot of funs;現在,她們又要搬進白官,適應新環境。他為什麼要帶著全家「走這個旅程」呢?他說,就是為了要讓瑪莉亞和莎莎得到更多機會,在成長中不受限制地編織自己的夢想,得到成就任何事情的機會。

政治人物在宣布參選、勝選和敗選時,喜歡把妻子兒女拉到台前,以表示自己重視家庭價值,但除了這些場合,卻少見到他們與家人一起公開露面。歐巴馬有點不同,他在夏威夷度假時,穿著露出腳趾的塑膠拖鞋,與女兒和另外兩個小女孩一起在街頭閒逛,又跟她們坐在樹蔭下的路障矮牆上,一起吃紅綠白三色冰淇淋─而且還用那種伸出舌頭去舔的孩子氣吃法。

瑪莉亞和莎莎,現在正是與父親最親蜜的時期,再大一點,她們就會多了自己的想法,不一定事事都與父親分享,不會再在街頭伸舌頭去舔冰淇淋。歐巴馬顯然正在享受與女兒在一起的時刻。

如果我們從歐巴馬對女兒的感情再去看他在信中所說的對下一代的承諾,就會發覺,他的承諾並不盡是競選政綱,其中也有真實情感的基礎。

歐巴馬向來擅於講述自己的美國夢故事─父親是黑人,母親是白人,他作為非裔,也可得到選總統的機會,因此他也要讓所有人得到機會。他又喜歡說,外祖母 (從基層員工升到銀行高層)和母親 (一面養育他和妹妹,一面還去上大學)對自己的影響最大;其實,兩名女兒對他的影響更大,因為他做總統,就是為了她們。如果當總統的最後目標不是為了下一代,為的還會是什麼呢?

在短短的一封給女兒的公開信中,歐巴馬重視孩子的思想表露無遺。這種思想重視小孩的發展、可得到什麼教育、可具有什麼夢想、有無實現夢想的機會等。這種思想,應該就是他能夠號召年輕一代、為他們帶來希望的原因,也是他的政治思想中最能感動人的一部分。

(本欄逢周二、周五刊出)(http://blog.worldjournal.com/stevenchiu)


歐巴馬給女兒的信(英文原文)

【聯合新聞網╱綜合整理】
2009.01.17 04:10 am

“What I Want For You- And Every Child in America”

by President-Elect Barack Obama (Published in Parade Magazine)

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential—schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college—even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country—but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free—that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better—and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much—although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you—to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad

【2009/01/17 聯合新聞網】

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