Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The difference between being and hoping

Some positions cannot be claimed. They must be bestowed. For example, I could not have become a tenured Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center unless and until my colleagues there voted to give me that title and the President of the University recognized that vote. Whether it seemed likely or unlikely that I would be considered for a tenured position, voted one, and approved by the university president, nothing made me a tenured Professor of Law other than what did happen: I was considered, my colleagues did vote me tenure, and the president endorsed their vote.

For that, I will be forever proud and appreciative. Certainly, while I awaited the outcome of the process that entitled me to call myself Professor of Law, I hoped I would receive that position. But no matter how hard I hoped for or wanted the post, it was not my place to claim it for myself. Indeed, had I done so, my colleagues would have been rightly offended and appalled. I would have been regarded as presumptuous at the least, confused at best, and obnoxious at worst.

While I certainly relate to the wishful thinking exhibited by Senator Obama last night - he clearly very much wants the nomination and he is entitled to his aspirations - wishful thinking cannot make someone the Democratic nominee.

This holds true for Senator Clinton too of course. But she has not declared herself the nominee. She seems to appreciate the difference between being and hoping. Further indication of her reality based perspective.

5 Comments:

Blogger A Voice from Nowhere said...

In NC, the motto is 'To be, rather than to seem.' I thought about this often as the state went for BO. It was so terribly ironic. Now, watching him claim victory, watching the media crown him, I am thinking about it again.

June 4, 2008 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger Double Jointed Fingers said...

Heidi, you are the soothing voice of reason, which is why I headed over here this morning. Thanks so much for helping me keep my head on straight.

That said, I think I will today declare myself the Queen of Sheba. You will note that I have already declared myself Goddess of the Sea. :-)

June 4, 2008 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for so eloquently making that distinction.

While I felt and understood that, I was unable to express it so clearly.

You have provided the avenue for sharing it, easily.

Thanks again for your faith, commitment and insights.

June 4, 2008 at 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an elegant way to make the point. I have been wondering why few other opinion leaders have pointed this difference out. T0 many cheerleading headlines and too little actual observation. This is where, the hoping rather than than the arrogating, Mrs. Clinton shows true classyness and statesmanship. A very important point.

June 4, 2008 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger mystic4hill said...

Hmmm, let's see. If Double Jointed Fingers is Queen of Sheba and Goddess of the Sea, then I annoint myself High Priestess of Avalon and Queen of all Druids.

Thanks, Heidi, for always being so calm and rational and helping to keep us all balanced and focused.

June 4, 2008 at 4:26 PM  

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