It took effort, he cautioned. It required mapping strategy and listening to your neighbors and building trust in communities where trust was often lacking. It meant asking people you’d never met to give you a bit of their time or a tiny piece of their paycheck. It involved being told no in a dozen or a hundred different ways before hearing the “yes” that would make all the difference.
Who are you to be telling us what to do? But skepticism didn’t bother him, the same way long odds didn’t seem to bother him. Barack was a unicorn, after all — shaped by his unusual name, his odd heritage, his hard-to-pin-down ethnicity, his missing dad, his unique mind. He was used to having to prove himself, pretty much anywhere he went.
The choice, as he saw it, was this: You give up or you work for change. “What’s better for us?” Barack called to the people gathered in the room. “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”