The Clinton Evolution

    I watched the Democrat Presidential debate last night and, like many people, was struck by the confrontational manner by which both John Edwards and Barak Obama accused Hilary Clinton of being dishonest and disingenuous. Both men seem to think that the country is hungry for change in the form of heightened honesty and integrity…and paint Mrs. Clinton as part of the “old way of doing business.”
    I have always been of the mind set that we get the leaders we deserve. If Edwards and Obama are correct about the desire for more honesty and greater integrity, and I think they are, then we must look not to what is wrong with Mrs. Clinton but rather to what is wrong with us that we have allowed things to get so far astray from that which is the best we can be.
    The standard to which we hold our elected officials, and the expectations we have for their veracity, reminds me of how the world sees the State of Israel. The expectation bar for that nation, in terms of moral and just behavior, is inordinately high. So, when the Israeli government, military or it’s citizens do something that routinely occurs elsewhere in the world, there is an outcry. We are shocked and disappointed. We are let down. We feel betrayed. 
    Our reaction has it’s seeds in our refusal to acknowledge and proceed from the rational starting point that we are all human and subject to human frailties. It’s the unrealistic expectation that we place upon others that 1) is the basis for that letdown and 2) gives us the “cause celeb” that distracts us from holding ourselves accountable for our own poor choices.
    We are angered and disgusted that our politicians have lied to us. But we lie to ourselves and one another all the time, in overt and subtle ways. We each have our own style of how we circumvent, manipulate or alter the truth under certain circumstances to achieve the outcome we desire. We have failed to hold ourselves accountable for this behavior. Our elected officials are not more spiritually or ethically or morally evolved than we. They are us. So our shock and dismay at their behavior, when it mirrors how we too often choose to behave, is unrighteous indignation.
    Given our potential for the highest good, it is only when we as individual members of society begin to live lives that reflect our understanding of what personal responsibility, accountability and integrity look like that the behavior and choices of our elected officials will also reflect that understanding. 
    Yesterday, I overheard a man ask, “Is it going to take a revolution in this country to wake the politicians up?”  As I listened, my internal answer was, “Not a revolution, evolution.”
    We must evolve ourselves by daily and repeatedly making the choice to honor the truth as we see it by speaking and living that truth. While truth may differ for each of us, it is in the commitment to truth as we see it, and the courage to stand up for that which we know to be true, that is the hallmark of an enlightened individual.
    It takes courage to speak truth, but it also takes courage to realize that the truth as you see it may not be all there is to see.
And while that requires yet another challenge, the willingness to change, personal integrity, and a willingness to change go a long way towards creating a meaningful life and a sustainable society.
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