Today we will continue our look at a few spiritual concepts that Barack Obama seems to be exemplifying. His main message is about change. Today we will look at some of the spiritual aspects of change.
Tomorrow we will finish this series by summarizing the posts from this week. We will also add a few last words on this subject in an attempt to put everything into the appropriate perspective.
Be the change you want to see
The primary message that Barack Obama espoused throughout his campaign was the idea of change. Unlike most other politicians he appeared to be a “do as I do” person. Many politicians are “do as I say” and then do not “do” as they have said. In other words they talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Let’s take a look at a few ways in which Barack Obama both talked the talk and walked the walk.
The first example of this is what we mentioned in Tuesday’s post about being inclusive. Barack Obama constantly pointed out that there are no red states and no blue states – only the United States. He walked that walk by building a fifty state campaign organization.
This organization said to each state that they were important and helped to solidify the campaign as a unified national organization. Other politicians have mouthed the words of national unity and then waged their campaigns primarily in the swing states. By being inclusive of all states Barack Obama was the change that he wanted to see.
End divisive politics
In Tuesday’s post we also talked about the “energize the base” campaign strategy. We showed how this is a very divisive method of winning an election. To compliment his idea of inclusiveness, Barack Obama talked extensively about bringing an end to divisive politics.
He walked that walk by identifying the entire country as his base. He did not actively energize any one group at the expense of another. His message was that we are one people. He repeatedly attempted to find ways to unify us rather than splinter us into factions.
This was heard in his constant message about all of us working together. By his being willing to work with all of us, Barack Obama was being the change he wanted to see – all of us working together.
Barack Obama also talked about not being afraid. He was not as explicit as Franklin Roosevelt who talked much more directly about fear. Barack Obama dealt with fear by emphasizing positive and progressive ideas.
When his opponents resorted to tactics designed to make the electorate fearful of him, Barack Obama did not respond in kind. By not continuing the downward spiral of fear based tactics Barack Obama exemplified the change he wanted to see. He showed us that fear does not have to be used in order to gain an objective.
He is not the change – we are
Another spiritual principle demonstrated by Barack Obama was not taking credit for things done by other people. A spiritual person knows that when someone changes themself, the primary credit goes to the one who has changed. That individual has gathered up their courage, seen a better way to live, and then made the change for a happier life.
An enlightened person may have guided the way or said a few helpful things that assisted in the change. But the enlightened person also knows that by giving credit to the person who made the change they will help the person feel empowered. Once we know that we have the power to change ourself in a positive manner we can go out and change anything we want to change.
This is a very important spiritual principle. The enlightened spiritual person recognizes that the most powerful force is a person who has changed their life for the better and knows that they made that change. This person has realized their own true power – possibly the single most important spiritual understanding.
By constantly telling us that he was not the change Barack Obama was showing extreme strength. Politicians tend to be false self (ego) driven people. This is frequently mistaken for strength. In reality it is only a very strong false self.
True self does not need to take credit for the changes other people make. True self only cares that other people learn to change for the better. Also, true self knows the journey required in making those changes. True self knows that the really difficult work was done by the person who made the positive change. The credit goes to those who do the work, not the one who points out the work that needs to be done.
Here is one more variation on this idea of showing us that we are the change. He constantly gave credit for his successes and victories to those who did the work. Many politicians mouth these words. With Barack Obama one has the feeling that he really understands what he is saying and means it sincerely.
Change from the bottom up
Finally let’s look at the idea of change happening from the bottom up. This was another frequent theme of the campaign that Barack Obama ran. This idea of change coming from the bottom closely matches his supporting those that are actually doing the work of that change.
Many politicians talk about change. They talk about what they are going to change. They are telling us that they are going to make the decisions and that we are going to have to accept those decisions. That is change from the top down. We the people can only accept or resist that kind of change. This becomes a confrontational situation, not one of empowerment.
By telling us that the change starts with we the people and then showing us how to empower ourselves, Barack Obama is showing us how to take control of our country. He is walking the walk of telling us we are the change, empowering us to be the change, and then telling us that the change comes from us at the bottom. How much more could he exemplify these ideas?
That is all for today. We have talked about spirituality in the last few days. Here is the link in case anyone would like to read our article “What Is Spirituality?” Come back tomorrow for a few last thoughts on this subject.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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