Saturday, January 24, 2009

me and obama and chinese new year

I heard on the radio that Barack Obama was born in the year of the Ox, so I looked it up, and sure enough, Obama's birthday is August 4, 1961. That makes him just a few months older than I am, and he shares a birthdate with my sister, except she's two years younger than he is.

Growing up and older, there was a good part of my life when I was usually the youngest person doing whatever it is I was doing (taking certain university courses, hanging out with older friends). This was a comfortable place for me. I enjoy looking up to people, and being with people to whom I look up.

Simultaneously, as I grew, I unfurled these amazing leadership skills - that's not a brag, just a fact. I got used to the situation pretty early. People look up to me. At work and at school and in the community, I am often chosen (or volunteer) to organize, teach, mentor, herd, whatever is required to make sure a group gets done whatever they want to do.

This looking up and being looked up to are simultaneous and mutually agreeable. In fact, I have the most difficulty side-to-side, relating to people on an equal level. Frequently I convert equal relationsips to something I can understand better by setting up an internal teeter-totter understanding about my peers. It goes like this: "She is an amazingly generous and hospitable person. I rely on her to get every detail right when we are taking care of people together. I have the ability to go with the flow in a hectic situation. I help her stay calm when things get crazy. "

All of this does connect to Barack Obama and me sharing a birth year. You see, for the longest time, people with authority and expertise upon whom I rely, and in whom I trust, have been older than me. My doctor, dentist, boss at work - they are (or were until recently) older than me, and I looked up to them because of this. Now I find myself more and more frequently looking up to people who are younger than I am. My doctor retired a few years ago, and my new doctor is just a bit younger than I am. My dentist? Same thing. My boss at work is pretty much the same age as I am. My Member of Parliament is older. My MLA is younger. The Prime Minister is only 2 years older (although he seems a lot older than that to me). I am getting used to being one of the older ones in every crowd. I guess it's good I'm working for another year at the seniors recreation centre. It helps me put age into perspective. Everyone there thinks I am very young.

I am delighted to be the same age as the President of the United States. And getting back to the year of the Ox, I can tell you, he is well equipped to be both a strong and appreciative leader, if you set any store by Chinese Horoscopes.

And I guess this means that my parents are now old enough to be the parents of a US President. But if they want that, they'll have to wait on my sister or brother because I'm not running. I've got ox work to do, with people who I admire and admire me, and friends with whom I enjoy mutually beneficial relationships.

Happy Lunar New Year, especially to the oxen. I think the world needs us now more than ever.

question: what is your Chinese Horoscope sign?

mompoet - the flower that grows through the crack in the cement


~Camy said...

I am a Water Rabbit.
It is extremely auspicious that we heard an era of new Hope with an Ox in the year of the Ox at the helm. I was at T & T Supermarket this afternoon and it was so incredibly crazy much for my New Year shopping. Christmas lights are down but my red ones and my lanterns are up. Check them out when you walk by. Kung Hay Fatt Choy from your "fake" and yet more authentic as ever as I age Chinese friend...turning into the sterotypical old chinese woman - one day still looking young and almost instantly a bag of wrinkes.

Muhd Imran said...

I am born in the Year of the Horse.

I get what you mean. It was a shocker to me a few years ago when a sales person addressed me as Uncle... WHAT!!

And then a slew of people started calling me that too. From then onwards, I realized I had all grown-up and old... not necessary wiser though, unfortunately, but the heart is young still.

It is interesting that you know so much about Chinese culture. I guess there are many Chinese migrants, especially from Hong Kong made Canada their homes. With that there should be Chinatown somewhere.

Incidentally, Wifey and I had just came back from our local Chinatown, famous with the tourists as well with its festive street decos and performances completing the happy atmosphere of festive shopping for their Lunar New Year.

Very interesting sight. Very red and looks auspiciously bustling too.

A new year, a new US president. A hopeful one for the ailing country that affected the whole world economy.

Good ridden with the old and welcome the more promising and capable world leader that is Obama to get us all out from the rut caused by a few greedy elites.

May Spring brings new and prosperous life ahead for all.

mompoet said...

Camy, I will surely check out your lanterns this evening! Happy Lunar New Year to a friend who is never a fake - more of a fusion!

Imran, I think of you and Wifey as young, and I would never call you Uncle - not in a million years! We do have a large Chinese community here, so lots of opportunities to share cultures and celebrate together.

By the way, I am corrected (by my father who is a stickler for accuracy) about my doctor's age. Mom and Dad see they same doctor, and know for a fact that he is just a few years older than I am. So I have yet to pass my doctor in age. I feel so much younger!