Obama To The Rescue

     Let’s start out with a disclosure: I’m a life-long registered Democrat. It’s important to get that on the table so you know I have no axe to grind here. What I am about to say is not in support of electing John McCain. Quite frankly, I don’t know what I will do come November 4th.  But there’s time yet to make that call and in the meantime, part of making that call is doing my homework and resolving, where possible, my concerns.  Now having explained this, here’s my concern.
    I’m concerned that millions of people in this country think that Barack Obama is going to save them. Save them from themselves. They are investing their energy and their hope in him rather than in themselves. So that when utopia does not finally appear by way of this particular candidate having occupied the White House, they can say yet again that politicians are all con artists and government has failed them once more.
    His acceptance speech was emotionally stirring and the visuals and lead up masterfully orchestrated. He’s a great orator oozing with charisma who is speaking the language people want to hear. Change is the word of the day and he perceived it and seized it from the get go. Good for him.
    But as I watched and listened to his acceptance speech, I heard promises of, quite frankly, miracle after miracle of what he is going to do. If you listened carefully, he’s going to fix just about every problem we have.  He’s never done the job before, or even one remotely like it; these problems have been around for decades; they are complex problems that require multifaceted solutions; they may even be problems that cannot be fixed but are instead systems and processes that are archaic and must be dismantled and replaced…but he’s going to fix them none-the-less.
    Having said all of that, it’s not him and his absolute knowing I’m concerned about. He’s a politician trying to get elected to a job he wants. He’ll say what we want to hear.
    It’s us I’m concerned about,
    It’s the significant portion of the population who thinks that change comes from anyone or anywhere other than from inside themselves.
    Our fundamental problems are social and moral.  You cannot legislate social conscience or morality. We have lost our way to technology and the endless consuming of things with disregard for the effect we have upon one another or the planet. We have not lost the capacity for compassion although we have lost the will to act upon that compassion. These are the roots of our suffering and neither Barack Obama nor any other individual can save us from ourselves.
    The job of repairing this nation is no different than the spiritual job of repairing the world. The concept, in Hebrew, is expressed as tikkun olam…repairing the world. And so when lasting change comes, it starts individually, one step at a time; one good deed at a time; one conscious choice at a time.  Lasting change happens in small ways, personal ways, once each of us decides to no longer choose expediency rather than meaning; more rather than enough; separation rather than unity; apathy rather than concern and, inaction rather than action. Lasting change is a slow and deliberate process during which we fall down many times before we are able to finally stand on our own solid footing.  It is not the single, momentary act of pulling a lever and electing a new President.
    When enough individuals continuously participate in the kinds of choices that effect lasting change, then the collective that we are as a nation will take on a different character and heightened emanation of it’s own…a character and emanation we can be proud that will show the way not only for we Americans but for the world as well.
    My caution about this election is to be alert and aware of the inappropriate investment in the illusion that Barack Obama,  or any other individual, can or will do it for us.
    Yes. The time is now. And Yes, we can.
    But this one’s for You. And Me.
    One conscious choice at a time.

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