I am grateful for today. I am grateful for the American spirit, and more inclusively, the human spirit performing at it’s very best. I am grateful to witness fear losing the battle, and grateful to be led by integrity, intelligence and inspiration.

A few of the inspired highlights from President Obama’s Inaugural Speech:

“Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.”

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

And finally, a mantra that I think everyone should use as a measure for their lives:

“To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.”

It makes me question what, in my daily life, I am destroying as opposed to building. I prefer to be in the construction business, without a doubt, but even the slightest drop of fear has an immense destructive power.

I’m grateful to witness such an immensely historic, important and ultimately simple moment – but one that was a long time in coming. Not only 8 years long, but centuries long. Words fail me, but the word gratitude keeps coming to mind.

But as he soberly reminds us over and over: now the work begins.

Was it me, or was this shift felt around the world? Yeah. That’s what I thought!