Well, it's officially over – Barak Obama is now the president of the United Sates. I don't think I've ever followed a political event as closely as this one. I certainly wish Mr. Obama all the best and hope that he is able to accomplish all that he has said he would like to.
It may have seemed to most as politics as usual, but I noticed some subtle differences. There seemed, at first, to be reluctance on Mr. Obama's part to engage in much of the negative campaign rhetoric, and I suspect so did Mr. McCain. I think most Americans have a strong distaste for this type of politics. Nonetheless it did creep in.
Some of the things that are regularly used in these efforts to "win" are false insinuations, and even out and out lies, and deliberate distortions. These are made in the effort to supposedly inform the public of an opponent's unworthiness to be elected. I don't know if they are at all successful but I do know that some people believe what they are told because the statements are being made by people or groups that seem believable.
This type of behavior is not limited, unfortunately, to just politics; it seemingly pervades our culture, being of course widely used in advertising. At some point you have to ask yourself who to believe – who's out to take advantage of people's goodwill and who's sincere? And why are we so willing to be taken in? I think it's because we want to believe, we want to know that there's someone "smarter", someone "better" than us.
Unfortunately in doing so we are deluding ourselves. There is no one that is smarter or better than any other person. It is true that some are better educated, or are fortunate to live in a "higher" station of life, or have garnered more experience, but there is no single person who is any better than another! Each life is just as precious as the next. My father had a favorite saying about this, "He puts his pants on the same way I do – one leg at a time."
I have seen and experienced the same types of things in business. I can even use my own experience as an example. I attained the position of Director of Engineering and then General Manager of a cable television system, without the benefit of a college education. I say this not to boast because I knew there were other much more capable people than I that could have filled those positions.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the CEO's and executives that are exposed as having fraudulent claims of degrees, and those who are fired for bad judgment and yet are soon retained by another firm. Lest I be misunderstood, none of these are any worse than I, they simply chose a different path.
You are probably asking by now – "What does this all have to do with Barak Obama and politics?" One can never completely know another's motivations or sincerity, or predict their success or failure. What we can do, individually, is to have a reasonable expectation of others and ourselves knowing that we are all imperfect and that we are all truly equal in the eyes of God.
Having said that, we also need to realize that we are just as capable of doing great things – showing concern; being loving and kind; having humility, and a willingness to give of ourselves. Just knowing that we all have been endowed with the identical, innate abilities should give us all a sense that we don't need someone smarter or better than we are, we simply need to make use of them.