I couldn’t stop weeping yesterday as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office as President and Vice-President. My heart opened when I listened to the elevated inspired words and rhythmic cadences of a young poet laureate Amanda Gorman. And I felt confident in the reemergence of common decency in the top political and governmental leadership in our nation as I listened to our new President speak about the meaning of American exceptionalism and how we as a nation “can do anything if we do it together.”

Was our national nightmare of the last four years really over?

I watched with a sense of renewed possibilities for our nation the evening inaugural celebration moderated from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King spoke of his dream for this nation.

Has our national leadership really returned to reflect the best of who we are as Americans?

I couldn’t stop saying aloud “WOW!” as I watched the spectacular pyrotechnic display as a crescendo of the day over the Washington Memorial signifying a new era of hope and possibility.

Is there really now reason for hope after so many horrid years?

We’ve witnessed these last few years the truth of the saying that “a fish rots from the head”; but it’s also true that great leaders can inspire the best in us. Great leadership isn’t about power and profit. It’s about decency, dignity, accountability, competency, and a commitment to the common good.

I believe that in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris we have such leaders, and because of this we have reason to hope.

Yesterday was a new beginning, and our tears of joy and hopes for the future were, I believe, a reflection of the truth that deep down we know we’ve embarked on a new beginning.