As Jennie said, we watched President Obama’s speech Tuesday on a large screen outside St David’s Hall in Cardiff. Somehow it seemed to bring us together with all the other people around the world who were also watching on big outdoor screens.

I was very moved by the speech and hoped that the doom mongers in this country took note about the effect on so many people was to lift the spirits rather than cast them down. Does it really help anyone to give all the gloomy forecasts, without giving any hope that things will get better ever! I heard an echo of Winston Churchill’s rousing wartime speeches in this address. Yes we know that things are bad now with wars, financial crisis, turmoil in the Middle East and parts of Africa etc. but at least the President gave hope that if we all work together we can make a better world for the future.

This country has survived far worse crises than this. In the last century alone we had the WW1  which resulted in the deaths of so many young people, quickly followed by the Spanish ‘flu epidemic killing thousands more. The depression which caused real poverty only to be followed by another world war killing thousands and laying waste much of Europe, but we not only survived but went on to make enormous strides in technology and medecine, until we were all in danger of taking it all for granted and forgetting what is really important in life.

Some good may come from all this if we learn lessons from it.  Maybe people will realise that they cannot have everything they want instantly, maybe they will be more realistic about the amount of debt they incur and realise that it has to be paid back one day. Bankers may be stopped from paying themselves obscene bonuses whilst their banks are failing. Perhaps we will start teaching our children to cook nutritious meals from scratch instead of buying expensive junk food.

Perhaps we will realise that poverty is when you have no food, rags on your back and watch your children die for want of nutritious food, clean water or medical attention, not the inability to buy designer labels, go to Disneyland etc.

I think Mr Obama’s address was a message to us all around the world, build a better world for all the children of the world to inherit, so that they can live in peace and plenty and tolerance.

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