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. While there are many definitions of gratitude, at its foundation, gratitude is a healing, life-affirming, and uplifting human experience that shifts us […]
Wanting to change the world is different from having to. The latter is what’s expected of Barack Obama if he’s elected. The huge crowds he keeps attracting aren’t looking simply for a new leader, or even a reformer to undo the bad things wrought by the Republicans. They are looking for transformation. This isn’t pure fantasy. Sometimes history forces change right before your eyes, and when that happens the road forks. You can tinker with the world as it is or you can remake the world as it should be.
I would hate to see Obama turn into a better Herbert Hoover. He could, and should, lay down a template for the next fifty years. It’s no secret that we need to repair our image abroad, deal with Islamic extremism in a better way, open up global markets, repair our infrastructure, shift away from fossil fuels, and attack global warming with clear, vigorous policies. For many people, accomplishing those things would be a page-tuner after eight years of reactionary neoconservatism. But they wouldn’t change the world.
— Get America off a war footing. We’ve been armed for imminent war since 1945.
— Develop an economy that makes a profit on peace. At present, we are dependent on arms and arms dealing.
— Get the rest of the world not to fear us.
— Take the side of the world’s dispossessed people, who only now are seeing the possibility of a decent life in India, China, southeast Asia, and much of Russia.
— Bring humanity and humane conditions to all of Africa.
— Stop dividing the world along ideological lines and religious factions. We need to be a secular leader friendly to all sides.
— Speed up nuclear disarmament until all weapons stockpiles are gone in this generation.
I hope Obama is thinking along these lines, because if he isn’t, the best he can hope for is a prosperous interval, like the Clinton years, while the underlying militarism and religious fractures fester. Two presidents — Lincoln and FDR — heeded history’s call with the utmost foresight, never compromising their vision. The difference here is that we aren’t facing civil war or economic ruin. America has an opportunity to change the world through free choice, by looking at what would be best rather than what has always worked.
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