LL Cool J's Advice to Barack Obama

OK, so the fanfare has come and gone, the cheering has quieted down and now you are our new president.

The next chapter of your life has begun. The toughest decisions you will ever have to make lie in front of you. Decisions that will require you to choose between integrity and necessity, enact the promises made to millions of people and recognize a change in perspective that will sometimes make those promises impossible to keep. Only you will be able to make those choices. But millions of others will live or die based on them. No pressure (smile).

You have shifted the cultural paradigm of America, but now you have to live up to the ideal that fostered the shift and work to ensure that the paradigm doesn't shift back. You must deliver.

I am proud as an African-American that you've accomplished so much, but I'm also crystal clear that you are the president of the entire country, of all colors, all genders and all religions that dwell here. I don't envy that position. We both know it's going to be a difficult balance to try to maintain.

I guess the best advice I can give you is to listen and pay attention. Not only to the general consensus of the public, but to that voice within. That voice you heard as a child on the beach in Hawaii, that same voice that founded our country, ended slavery, sent man to the moon, told you to run for office and told the majority of Americans to cast their vote for you.

That's quite some voice. I hear it telling me that for the next four years you'll be in a position where every choice you make is likened to the fourth quarter of an NBA finals game 7, with 0.3 seconds left on the clock and the ball is in your hands. Will you sink the shot? Can you handle the pressure? If you miss, can you shake it off and be confident when it's time shoot again? Are you ready?

I hope you are. No, actually I believe you are. I trust you. We trust you. And hopefully four years from now everyone will still want to be just like Obama.

I'll end my letter with this fairly well known quote from Alexis Carrel: "Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor."

That being said, every time a president makes choices, he remakes himself and millions of others. Choose wisely my brother. Listen to that voice.