“Our better angels.” Been thinking this morning about why and how Joe Biden‘s speech last night resonated as much as it did.
Personally, he reminded me a lot of my late, beloved grandfather Roy Duncan for whom I was named and of my mother Susie Sexton who has been such a guiding light and motivating force in my life to be good, to do good, to be ever in the moment, and to abhor bullies. Much like they, Joe has also lived through a lot of pain and a lot of disappointment and more than a few closed doors.
You see it in his eyes, which are etched with heartache yet still glint with awe and a bit of good-natured mischief. You hear it in his voice, which is earnest, forceful, and unadorned. You sense it in his words and the way he collects his thoughts, which are direct, thoughtful, broad, and inclusive. You see it in the labor he is bringing to the speech itself, energized to say what he feels deep in his bones and perhaps a bit uncertain of how a mercurial audience may be receiving his intent.
I admit I cried happy tears – more than a few – listening to him last night. And I woke up with hope and excitement for the future for the first time in what feels like a long while. To me, at least, it was a speech for the ages. Apolitical, genuine, fiery, yet gracious. A little boy from Scranton was clearly honored to have made it through the gauntlet, to have his voice validated, and to reach the pinnacle of a long and difficult life. We all can take inspiration from that.