Advertisement

Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent

Obama: Our plumber-in-chief

Although the Presidency is about issues, challenges, and complex negotiations, there’s another side. With every new President we get the pleasure of watching a human being adapt to the office. Very quickly an image emerges. Barack Obama entered the White House at a time of crisis, amid frayed nerves and anxiety. The image we wanted to see was pictured in advance by constant references to Lincoln and FDR, the two Presidents who overcame the deepest crises in our history.
Amid the dog show and the Easter egg roll, the whirlwind foreign visits and being the man who accompanied Michelle Obama to Europe (a wink-and-a-nod reference to JFK, another dapper celebrity politician), what do we feel about this new President as a human being?
Personally, Obama seems to me to be a man of virtue. This is something of an irony, because George W. Bush and the right wing co-opted virtue back in 2001. They trumpeted their desire to bring decency back to the White House after the shocking (how very shocked they were) immorality of Bill Clinton. As the party of “values,” the Republicans took out a patent on virtue, so it must be galling for them to witness in Obama someone who actually is decent, truthful, candid, and strong. The Bush smirk wasn’t the only giveaway that our last President wasn’t going to live up to his billing. He always seemed like an expensive suit wrapped around a show of qualities he didn’t possess. The private Bush was stubborn, capricious, sulky, and immature. He was born to privilege and the recklessness of privilege. He cried at the sight of wounded vets but couldn’t grasp the wrong of the unjust war he foisted upon them.
The country could afford to tolerate Bush’s shallowness when we felt rich and safe. but after the debacle of the Iraq war, the rising tide of hatred from the Islamic world, the abandonment of our traditional alliances, and finally the catastrophe of the financial collapse, we couldn’t afford someone who pretended to qualities he didn’t have.
Great leaders have an uncanny way of matching the need of the time. Obama isn’t a carbon copy of Lincoln and FDR. So far, he hasn’t displayed the former’s immense moral courage or the latter’s larger-than-life optimism. The particular virtues that are being called upon from this President are calmness, astuteness, and organization. Taken altogether, they aren’t a glamorous package. Obama ran for the office on inspiration, but he may wind up being remembered as the fix-it President. He’s the plumber-in-chief assigned to repair a hundred leaks that cannot be ignored any longer.
Still, it’s comforting to know that Obama can rise to inspiration if that’s what is needed. It’s also comforting to see that he is normal. His wife reminds him not to scare the kids when he growls too loud reading “Where the Wild Things Are.” He bowls a terrible game and becomes endearing for it. He makes clunky attempts to unbend from his natural dignity, and that endears him, too. Virtue was dragged into the White House eight years ago as a semi-sleazy political gambit. How amazing that when we least expected it, the real thing arrived.
Published in the San Francisco Chronicle
Deepak Chopra on Intent.com

Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Sowing Seeds of Gratitude to Cultivate Wellbeing
Paul J. Mills, Tiffany Barsotti, Meredith A. Pung, Kathleen L. Wilson, Laura Redwine, and Deepak Chopra   Gratitude, along with love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, and self-knowledge, is a vital attribute of our wellbeing. ...

posted 3:51:06pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Which Universe Do You Want to Live In? It's Your Choice
By Deepak Chopra, MD, and Menas Kafatos, PhD   The night sky that you can view from your back yard is roughly the same, given a few changes in the positions of stars, as the night sky Galileo turned his telescope on to. But visual ...

posted 10:54:49am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Meditation and the Spiritual Life of Children
By Deepak Chopra, MD When they become parents, many people wonder how to impart spiritual values to their children. The traditional model of sending them to Sunday school is one alternative; another is to draw the entire family into the ...

posted 10:42:06am Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Do We Really Know What's Real? The Most Optimistic Answer Is Maybe
By Deepak Chopra, MD, and Menas Kafatos, PhD   For a very long time, if you wanted to know if something is real or not, the go-to people have been scientists. The rise of rationality over superstition is considered the single greatest ...

posted 1:06:30pm Aug. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Physics' Split Personality: Is the Dark Side Winning?
By Deepak Chopra, MD, and Menas Kafatos, PhD   For some time now most of the universe has gone dark. This startling news was brought to popular attention in a June Op-Ed piece in the New York Times called "A Crisis at the Edge of ...

posted 12:32:11pm Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.