Nobody on the corner got swagger like Obama (PERIOD). It was even evident in a series of college photos recently published by TIME magazine. Young men, step your game up - we are in the sunrise of a new era. If you thought your throwback and fitted cap was gonna take you into the realm of Manhood, you may want to rethink that. Even Jay Z and Kanye West are attempting to redefine the mold of 'Swaggerdom' in recent months, complete with the nappy fro, but what Obama has in common with our pop icons is something internal so it doesn't matter how you dress it up or down, true character shines through.
Some people confuse talent, whether it be of the artistic, political, business, or intellectual acumen as character. Character is something much stronger than talent and swagger combined. Many American Presidents have spoken of the value of character. Woodrow Wilson once said:
"If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig."
Ralph Waldo Emerson offered this insightful gem (maybe at Walden Pond while he was mentoring Henry David Thoreau):
"The true test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of cities, nor the crops - no, but the kind of man the country turns out."
So even in this period of economic peril, America has the ability to churn out something that will last longer than any industry bail-out or political term. We are presented with another unique opportunity in history, much like the 60s with icons like Kennedy and King, where we can create a generation of men and women whose character will be strong enough to stand the test of time and that will become our nation's greatest resource.