Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Why I Love A-Word-A-Day

This is today’s entry from Anu Garg’s A Word A Day. The Magic of Words

This week’s theme
Words from Obama

This week’s words


with Anu Garg

Tomorrow Barack Obama will become president of the US, and not a moment too soon. This week we’ll feature words from Obama, words from his books, speeches, and interviews.

Unlike most politicians, who hire ghostwriters, Obama writes his own books. He’s a gifted writer. Reading his words you can see his thought process. He’s not one who sees the globe in black and white. He has lived outside the US and has been exposed to other cultures. He realizes that just because someone has a different set of beliefs, just because someone looks different, doesn’t mean he’s wrong — sometimes there can be two ways to do something and both can be right.

Obama is to be commended for his accomplishments. We’ve come a long way in this country. But we still have far to go before we can call ourselves truly unbiased. Real progress will be when any capable person can have a fair chance at winning the highest office, even someone who happens to be, say, a black gay vegan atheist woman.

Anything is possible… but don’t hold your breath.


verb intr.: To be united; to work or hold together.

From Latin cohaerere, from co- (together) + haerere (to stick).

“I learned to slip back and forth between my black and white worlds, understanding that each possessed its own language and customs and structures of meaning, convinced that with a bit of translation on my part the two worlds would eventually cohere.”
Barack Obama; Dreams From My Father; Times Books; 1995.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. -Martin Luther King, Jr., civil-rights leader (1929-1968)

Here is what Anu Garg isn’t saying, and my guess is he hasn’t thought twice about it. He is an American. He was not born in America, he immigrated to America – as most of us did, meaning our forefathers and mothers came from Europe, from Africa, from Asia and from India and the Middle East and – and – and. As an immigrant, as an American, he is free to say what he wants. Free to be happy Obama is president, and at the same time free to say that the system is not yet free enough.

I also totally love it that his quote for today is from Martin Luther King, who we are celebrating in America, on this national holiday.

We don’t have to agree. I love it that he is passionate about his beliefs, and that he provides A-Word-A-Day as a public service, entirely free, every day sending a new word, defined and used in context, to subscribers in every nation in the world. I admire people like him, like the Rajab family here in Kuwait, like Andrew Carnegie who started most of the small town libraries in the United States, people who use what they have been given to give back to the world-at-large.

You can see A Word A Day leads my blogroll. You can subscribe by clicking on the blue type above. ๐Ÿ™‚

January 19, 2009 - Posted by | Blogging, Blogroll, Character, Charity, Communication, Community, Customer Service, Education, Generational, Interconnected, Language, Leadership, Political Issues, Words


  1. Nice post.

    My family and I are all quite excited about tomorrow’s presidential inauguration…
    I hope all goes well for Obama and his wonderful little family.

    I heard that Obama means Obo Amama (which is the one with the turban)….did you hear that too?

    Comment by jewaira | January 19, 2009 | Reply

  2. Great idea. I’ll definitely be checking out AWAD from here on in. So thanks for the link.

    I love that he used the Dr. King quote too – what a guy. I hope we all continue to benefit from his dreams.

    btw I can’t wait till tomorrow!!!!! =D

    Comment by souvenirsandscars | January 19, 2009 | Reply

  3. I hadn’t heard the oba amama one ๐Ÿ™‚

    Here’s another one–in Farsi, Obama means ‘He-who-is-with-us (O-ba-ma: O = he; ba = with; ma = us)

    Comment by Darya | January 20, 2009 | Reply

  4. Jewaaira :

    Good Morning all it is 630am
    The word Obama came from the famous kuwaiti saying

    Ob = means father ama = mother , and the saying goes Obi Ma Yegdar ela ala Omiุฃุจูˆู‰ ู…ุงูŠู‚ุฏุฑ ุฃู„ุง ุนู„ู‰ ุฃู…ู‰

    have a good day

    Comment by daggero | January 20, 2009 | Reply

  5. Jewaira – My family is, too – spread apart around the world as we are. It’s an exciting day in America, people feel the need for a change. No, I had never heard Obama meant one with the turban – in Swahili?

    SouvenirsAndScars – I hope you enjoy it!

    I had never heard that, Darya! I just love it that Barak is blessings!

    LLOOLL, Daggero, I will leave that posted unless some Kuwait tells me you have written something vulgar! I don’t know what that saying means! I can tell it has to do with Daddy (something something) to Mom . . .

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 20, 2009 | Reply

  6. intlxpatr :

    Actually i had the translation there but somehow it got lopped off it means ( My Dad can overcome my Mom only )
    I guess it is in the realm of science fiction

    Comment by daggero | January 20, 2009 | Reply

  7. How weird, Daggero! Haven’t you noticed, other commenters can almost write an entire blog entry in the comments column, and you get cut off?

    So when would you use that phrase?

    PS. I am a big fan of science-fiction, well, a few authors. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 20, 2009 | Reply

  8. Intlxpatr

    The term is used in a derogatory manner
    when some one is singled out for a deed because he /she is the weak link and the other accomplices get off the hook .

    I said sience fiction because no matter how hard Dad tries he will never be able to overcome Mom and thats worldwide

    Comment by daggero | January 21, 2009 | Reply

  9. Daggero – I agree. It’s worldwide. Dad never had a chance. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (Isn’t the human family amazingly similar, underneath the cultural differences?)

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 21, 2009 | Reply

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