Tag Archives: President Obama

Still Here. Still Nobody. Still Going Strong!

Still here.  Still here.

Thanks to those of you who have stuck around to read over the course of the last few weeks.  It’s been the best of times and the worst of times, but luckily, the worst of times were very short and are now getting more distant in life’s rear view mirror.

Of course, attitude wasn’t everything, but it was a big part of it, so with that being said, let’s move on in joy into 2013!  Can’t spend all our time lamenting.  Has to be some time in there for the good stuff.  I’m shooting for 98.56% good stuff.

So, the new year has brought some new news, some new surprises, and some of the same ol’ same ol’.  Has yours been the same?  I have a new recliner and a new bookcase.  There’s something for which to be thankful.  Some stones still haven’t moved, while others continue to roll on, even when I try to stop them!

President Obama was sworn in to another term and Vice President Biden also had his swearing in.  The NFL playoffs march on into another week, getting us closer to the Super Bowl which, for those of us who don’t give a hoot about either team, is really just a chance to watch 30 second commercials the cost of which could feed a poor country for weeks.

I continue to meet new people and re-connect with others I’ve not seen in a while.  Meditation techniques grow in new directions, with new techniques that help me to focus day by day.  I’m meeting cynics, skeptics, and believers, all of which only serve to drive home the notion that I am on the right path — nothing set in stone, but just trying to be that ol’ Citizen of the World.

I still dream of India.  I still wake up in my home city at 5:30am for work.  I still believe the yin-yang is one of the most beautiful metaphorical drawings ever created, and I’m finding myself more comfortable in my skin as days go on.

For those of you who care (and, surprisingly, for those who don’t), I want to give you the Nobody message for January 2013: Embrace your Nobody Nature to the fullest.  Cherish your ability to struggle in the daily grind without the benefit of prying eyes and paparazzi.  Know more and more each day that you are the trendsetter.  That fashion is only fashion because you wear it.  Top 40 is only Top 40 because you download it.  Movie starts only make it because you buy the tickets. I had occasion the other day, in my new recliner, to think about that message a little bit for myself.  I realized that when I turn the movies off and go sit for a while to meditate, I’m making a free and conscious choice that is not really informed by anything other than my own will.  Nobody’s watching.  Nobody’s reporting.  Nobody’s counting.

It’s just this Nobody experiencing.

I hope your 2013 is full of your own special brand of magic, your own special choices, and, most importantly, peace.  You are the world and you make it spin, so…enjoy!

All Candidates, Including President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, Can Encourage New Thinking on Civility…and Incivility

As election season approaches, think of the history of these United States.  Think of the proud American spirit.  Think about living in a country that takes the time to have debates before an election, and encourages its great citizens to vote, and take part in the democratic process.

Then, think about how it must feel to live in Ohio right now.

Imagine watching TV in Cleveland and then seeing every attack ad ever made.  Imagine trying to live in that key election state.  Now, where I live, it is still pretty bad, due to hotly contested local elections.  But the presidential candidates have pretty much give up here, so I’m insulated from the presidential ads.

But Ohio?!?  I can’t even imagine.  Of course, I’m a Browns fan, so I’m trying to picture watching a Browns game (argh!) with attack ads throw in (double argh!).  Do the ads work?  Who knows?  The latest CNN.com poll shows President Obama up by 4%, but you know how that can go.

The only tally that matters is the one on election night.

But this Nobody’s thoughts today are not with the Browns or percentage points.  They’re with the question of civility.  If you’ve seen the debates between President Obama and Governor Romney, you’ve seen a strange mix of incivility and civility.

There is fire and brimstone flying at debate time, then, at the end, the families gather on stage for some hand shaking and pleasantries.  One could almost get the idea they were all going to leave the studio and go for ice cream afterwards.  Can you see that?  The Romneys and the Obamas ordering hot fudge sundaes at a local Dairy Queen and talking about…well…who the heck knows?

Now, as amusing as that image is to ponder, it gets me thinking about the frontiers of civility in our country, and around the world.  Nobody’s view is for the rest of us.  Not the candidates, but the voters.  Not the prime ministers, but their people.

This isn’t just about politics.  It’s about societies.  We tend to vilify people from other places, or candidates from other political persuasions, but have you ever really thought about that?  I mean, really thought about it?  Think of your friends from different cultures or the guy at the side of the road you helped when his tire was flat.  Did you check their politics?  Their backgrounds?  Or did you just help?  People are, generally, people.  And we usually believe that as regular citizens.

The problem is that, quite often, bullies and despots rise to power.  Then, in acts of “leadership,” these rulers create often hateful or vengeful policies, kill their own people, and do all sorts of horrid things, and we lay blame at the feet of their subjects…subjects whom we would gladly help if they crossed our paths in the everyday.

I’m not wise in the ways of politics, but something does not seem right about this.  Yes, we see people marching angrily in the streets supporting some horrific action, but don’t forget–in the great bell curve of humanity, there will always be those who agree with hate and rage.

But what about the rest?  What about the mother clutching her child in a bombed-out apartment, praying that the violence will end, or that her child can grow up someplace safe.  What about the masses who work their fingers to the bone for almost no pay under regimes that don’t care whether they live or die?  What about the student who has to look over her shoulder every day walking to school, lest a would-be policymaker will do more than simply discourage education for her gender?

Civility is courtesy.  Civility is tolerance.  Civility is respect.  Unfortunately, so many times, those who lead do not lead with a civil mindset, but with anger, hate, and rage…with selective agendas and desperation.  The grab for power is ultimate, all else, subordinate.

Now, in America?  We’re lucky.  For all the horribleness of election-season ads, we generally vote in peace and the sun rises in peace the next day.  However, I mention the seriousness of incivility because as the election season comes to a close, I am saddened to see how quickly civil words are replaced by bile.  How easily candidates are able to destroy others’ reputations, families, and good names.  How, without so much as a care, people insult sitting statesmen and stateswomen in an effort to unseat incumbents so they can move into their offices, readjust the chair, and get about the business of reversing the other person’s policies.

As you watch the elections come to a close in our country, remember, this is not an “American” issue.  This has nothing to do with one country or another or one candidate over another.  It’s simply about all of us.

However, we can teach our children differently.  We can use election season not as a time to hit the mute button on ads that most people find annoying.  We can take this opportunity to set a new example.  A civil example.  An “if-you-don’t-have-something-nice-to-say…” example.

Call this Nobody an optimist, but I am hopeful that within a few generations, we can reduce the acidity in the world and promote a more tolerant and civil atmosphere. I believe it starts with us.  It starts with hearing candidates on the issues and ignoring them on the incivility.

It begins with common sense.

But I will say this: if this optimist is wrong, he will certainly be thankful for the mute button.

A Day Without Osama Bin Laden Brings a Change…Even in the Ordinary

I woke up today and greeted the newscasts to see if maybe last night was a dream.

It wasn’t.

Osama Bin Laden was still dead at the hands of Navy SEALs.  The news stations were still playing snippets of President Barack Obama’s announcement from the White House.  The Bin Laden Abbottabad compound in Pakistan had still been emptied.  The talking heads were still talking about Bin Laden’s demise and legacy.

Today continued like any other day, on the surface.  I had my daily exercise, my daily practices, and my daily duties.  I worked on some projects and read a little bit.

But something was different, whether or not I knew it.  Something had changed, even if only on a small scale…a scale so small that maybe it might be missed, if one were not looking closely.

Osama Bin Laden was gone.

Do you think I’m just repeating myself here?  I’m not.  I don’t just mean that his life is gone.  I don’t just mean that his body is now at rest in the ocean.

Yes, of course, that happened.

But I mean there was a little less terror in the world.  A little less intolerance.  A little less fear-mongering and threat.

The pundits have been saying all day that the end of Osama Bin Laden is not the end of terrorism.  As US citizens, we know that.  As world citizens, we know that.

It’s unfortunate, but it’s true.

The brave men and women of the armed forces will still encounter the scourge of terror cells, and we will still have security alerts.  The terrorists won’t put down their guns and bombs and pick up bricks and cement to build schools, hospitals, and homes for the homeless.  They won’t use their incredible knack for stealth to assist law enforcement in catching criminals that are hurting children.  They won’t sit down with world leaders to calmly explain a differing point of view in the search for harmony so that people can try to coexist for the few wonderful years they have on this planet.

These things probably won’t happen.

But today, as I went about whatever it is I do during the day, there was a different energy.  Something had changed.  The world was still the world, but maybe today it was lighter.

Do you know what I mean?

It’s okay if you don’t.  I’m not sure I understand it myself.  But that doesn’t matter.  The point is I will hopefully wake up again tomorrow and go about my business whatever it is, but I will try to tune in again to the increased room for goodness in the world.  And because of recent events, maybe I will have an easier time.  Don’t misunderstand.  This isn’t a blog post about death.  It is an attempt to make sense of a phenomenon — an attempt to make sense of a situation as it is.

And just maybe, if fortune permits, the phenomenon of good, wherever it comes from, will become the state of the world instead of something that must constantly shove terror aside to be discovered.  And perhaps next time, good will come from the spontaneous celebration of human spirit and not from news that someone who once killed, has died.

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President Barack Obama Confirms That Osama Bin Laden Is Dead. This is Significant, But What Now?

I was watching TV just now and they cut in to say that Osama Bin Laden is dead, in a mansion in Islamabad.  President Barack Obama apparently ordered the mission, wherein Bin Laden was shot and his body was recovered.

I see people in the streets celebrating outside the White House right now, and the news folks just talked about the 9/11 attacks and Bin Laden’s role in that horrible tragedy.

So, we find out tonight that Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Where are we now?  What do we say at this point?  Where do we go from here?

It has been so many long years searching.  Did someone turn him in?  Was it Pakistani officials?  We don’t know yet…I’m sure that will come out soon (please no angry comments…I’m blogging as this is happening).

President Barack Obama is going to make his statement soon from the White House, and there are people continuing to crowd in front of the White House to be part of the historic announcement.

It is so interesting that after so many years of political infighting between Democrats and Republicans, something like this can bring people together.  Ordinary folks who seek peace and freedom.

Obama is now speaking.  He tells us that a US operation has killed Bin Laden, the leader responsible for the killing of thousands.  The 9/11 images, he says, are ensconced in our memories.

And they are.  They have to be.  The must be.

Obama talked about the victims of the 9/11 attacks — innocent lives who fell in an awful moment that brought a nation, and a world, together.  Obama made sure to remind us all about the unity that those horrifying attacks by Bin Laden brought, despite the terror.

He went on to thank our military and intelligence forces for taking the lead in working against the forces of terror and for finding Bin Laden.

Obama said he authorized, last week, an operation of Americans to take out their target in a firefight, and claim his body.

The President reminded us that it is our duty to remain “vigilant,” and he also reminded us that this is not America’s war against Islam, but against terror and murder.

We didn’t choose this fight, the President said.  It came to us.  The President indicated that Americans understand the costs of war, but also appreciate the price we must pay to defend ourselves, and our allies.

Finally, President Obama told the families of 9/11’s victims that he has never forgotten their struggles, and made a final appeal to unity, calling upon us to set our minds upon prosperity, equality, and sacrifices for the safety of the United States and our allies.

——————

I’m not a political pundit.  I don’t know much about world politics or stuff like that.  I’m just a person in the world trying to find meaning in world events.  I normally don’t take strong stances one way or the other, but tonight, I was just moved to type because of this theme of unity…a theme so very close to my heart.

The appeal to unity is something we should not forget today…indeed, should never forget, for it is in unity where we find success.  It is in tolerance where we will find our peace.  It is in friendship and love where we will have everything we so desire in this world.  It doesn’t matter what political party we follow or what color our skin is.  It’s not about what god/gods you follow or how you pray.

Simply be a force for good.  Be a force for change.  Stand by your neighbor not just because you agree with him.  Support your community not simply because it insulates you.

If we can help a little, smile a little, and tolerate a little, then we can grow a lot.

Then, maybe some time in the future, we will celebrate our unity on the streets in front of the White House.

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