Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our New Commander-in-Chief

History has been made tonight. Barack Obama will be our nation's first African-American President and Commander-in-Chief of of its Armed Forces. This is a tremendous moment! He may not have been who some of us voted for, but as members of the military, he is our Number One guy now!

I only hope that, with this victory, that President Obama will listen to the advice of his generals and admirals, and the troops on the ground and sailors at sea. I hope that he will remember the voices of those who voted for him on this day. I hope he will be mindful of the people of Iraq and Afrghanistan. Most of all, I hope that we, as a people, remember that our leaders are but human beings like ourselves, neither "saviors" nor "devils" - though by reading in the media in the past weeks that idea certainly didn't come across very well. It's amazing the pressure that this man will be under.

Sakyamuni Buddha, we should remember, did not live in a democratic society, and so we do not know what he may have thought of the concept of "one man one vote" (or one woman one vote for that matter) and even less what his opinion would be of the current American electoral college. Any speculation about who he would have "voted" for must remain just that -wishful speculation (just as all the nonsense also written about who Jesus would have voted for)! However, it would be good just now to be reminded that the Buddha regarded all as capable of the greatest path a human being could undertake - not running for President(!) but for Awakening, which was not dependent on being born into a good family (caste) but by exemplary living. Anyone could do this. So perhaps, after all, there are similarities between ancient, oligarchic India and present-day America!

We have the karma to be residents of a country in which a person like Barack Obama can become President through open and free elections. This is a blessing to recognize, even if we did not vote for President Obama. This is a winning situation for all! Now, may we be able to continue this reality (no longer just a dream), and go on with our duty to defend this great nation.

Namo Amida Butsu


Jerry said...

I agree, I am very interested to see the decisions made over the next 4 years and how it changes our society as a whole. As in any election, promises are made on both sides but more often than not, they aren't delivered and for a plethora of reasons. It is my hope that he is indeed mindful of his position and the power of change it holds.

Namu Amida Butsu

Rocco said...

Interestingly enough, when I was reading our new Commander-in-Chief's plan on http://www.barackobama.com/

I did a search to see how Buddhists support our new appointed leader. I came across a group entitled "Buddhists For Obama." If anyone else is interested, the link is as follows:

“Change doesn’t happen over night, but it does happen, if you believe.”

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