Today we continue our series about how Barack Obama may be exemplifying spirituality. Today we will look at how he could possibly be taking a spiritual approach to fear.
He shows no fear
I cannot ever remember seeing Barack Obama being afraid of anything. Many politicians are very good actors. They talk about not being afraid ad nauseam. However, when the chips are down, the vast majority of them exhibit fear.
Most of the time they do not even recognize that they are afraid. They talk about fear so much that when they become afraid they usually go into denial of their fear. The fear oozes out in ways they do not recognize.
They are afraid of not getting elected so they make deals that are either shady or illegal. Then they become afraid for their conduct to be investigated. They are afraid to be called names by their opponents so they strike back out of fear to protect their image. They are afraid of not having enough money after they leave office so they get involved in questionable schemes and bribery.
It is very clear that Barack Obama wanted to win this election. I do not know for sure, but I do not think he was personally afraid of losing it. He concentrated on doing what he needed to do to win the election. He did things to win – not to prevent a loss. This is a slight but important subtlety.
The mind set to win is different than the mind set to prevent loss. When you are attempting to prevent a loss you are operating from fear of that loss. When we set our minds to win we harness positive energy – not the negative energy that comes from the fear of losing something.
He does not attempt to make others fearful
Barack Obama had several opponents that attempted to make others fearful if he won the election. He faced these opponents in both the primary and presidential elections. His opponents attempted to warn the electorate of how bad everything would be if Barack Obama won the election.
Barack Obama responded to this direct fear mongering from his opponents in what has been an unconventional manner. He did not attempt to instill a similar fear in the electorate.
Yes – he did ask if you were better off now than you were four years, four months, or four weeks ago. But that does not directly generate fear. Someone can look at their life and answer without fear that they were better off four months ago. Another person can answer the question and become fearful of the future because they were much better off four months ago.
Barack Obama did not tell anyone to be fearful – but people could have chosen to be fearful. Sometimes no matter what you say people decide to be fearful.
This is quite different than telling people to be fearful. During the presidential campaign the electorate was told many things about which to be fearful of Barack Obama. We do not know enough about him, he is a socialist, he wants to raise your taxes, he is a friend of domestic (and possibly foreign) terrorists, he is a secret Muslim, and on and on and on.
It was almost as if because the last fear was no longer effective they had to find a new fear. Because Barack Obama reacted by neither showing fear nor attempting to make others fearful they kept trying to instill new fears into the electorate.
It is possible that this reaction by Barack Obama resonated with the electorate. They unconsciously saw these attacks that blatantly used fear in an attempt to manipulate them. They saw the calm and positive reaction from Barack Obama. I think the case can be made that this example showed the electorate that they did not need to be fearful and that neutralized the fear based attacks.
Vulnerability is a very powerful spiritual example. I think that Barack Obama was at his most vulnerable during his response to a very hostile fear based attack. When we are vulnerable, most people recognize that we are being our true self and they respond positively.
Barack Obama was at his most vulnerable during the speech that he gave in Philadelphia regarding racial issues. This speech was in response to the fear based attacks he was receiving because of his pastor, Reverend Wright.
From all accounts, his aides did not want Barack Obama to make this speech. They were afraid of opening a can of worms that would become the race issue. They thought that there was no upside that could come from taking this action. The aides and advisors were very uncomfortable about the decision to make this speech.
Barack Obama made the speech and made himself vulnerable. He put all the cards on the table about his life and his experiences about racial differences. He showed no fear and allowed himself to be wide open for vicious attacks from his opponents.
There were a few talking heads in the media that took a few swipes at him for the content of this speech. For the most part, especially from his opponents, there was no criticism. His speech was so open, so honest, and so vulnerable.
Anyone responding negatively to this speech would have shown themselves as insensitive and boorish. Any negative response would have shown up his opponents – not Barack Obama. That is the essence of the spiritual power of vulnerability.
That is all for today. Come back again tomorrow for a few more things that I think exemplify the spirituality of Barack Obama.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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