Saturday, November 08, 2008

MENTOR OR MESSIAH?


I’m not sure where this post is headed but I know it must be said. At the same time euphoria was becoming the united state of the liberal minded population of this planet last Tuesday night, a sense of déjà vu began gnawing at the edges of my elation as I gazed through misty eyes at ecstatic crowds realizing a dream of a lifetime. All day yesterday, while puttering in the garden or whittling a length of bamboo, I kept hearing indistinguishable traces of a song from the seventies but nothing more. A while ago I was feeding the chickens and their excitement and ravenous anticipation of and quarreling over the choice parts made the final line to the song come bursting into my lungs as I let go with, “Save yourselves!!!”

After putting up the eggs I came in and began searching YouTube for the exact song from Jesus Christ Superstar where the hero turns to the impatiently imploring throng requesting special favors and delivers that greatest of statements I have ever heard attributed to his wisdom — save yourselves.

Barack Obama is on the eve of quite possibly the greatest change for the betterment of mankind in its entire history if we heed his admonition that his ascendance to the seat of power and the inspiration for change it is for so many is not the change itself. The change must be the better person we let ourselves be by just realizing that it is contributing to the idea of a better world he encourages us to create for ourselves and consequentially, for everyone.

While searching for that particular song I came across others that seemed applicable to President Obama’s situation. In Mary Magdalene’s song I Don’t Know How To Love Him she speaks of having so many men before because she never expected her dreams to come true. Now we will see how well everyone who has dreamt of this time is prepared to act from their better self rather than as they had been in a world whose government didn’t trust them.

The difference here is whether Barack Obama is seen as a messiah or a mentor; whether we sit back and wait for miracles from some mythical creator dude or whether he represents an example of wise competence to which we all may freely aspire. I remember a rant I sent to the local rag during a city-wide argument over public transportation in which I made the same point: merely voting for better service and not voting every day with your ass on the bus doesn’t get your car out of the traffic that is much more the problem than better buses. The fervor that elected Barack Obama president must now get on the bus and remain as committed as a matter of life style — or we will be mything the point again.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's not count out the people who have always been a part of improving themselves, their families and communities, helping, teach children through more sacrifice than compensation, and rebuilding in New Orleans where govt. did not, etc. Many more have already boarded the train of active participation where they see need because of this inspirational campaign. Others will surely wait for miracles.

Knowing how much one person can do if determined, I'm sure that progress will increase exponentially in communities everywhere. So then it comes down to how each individual measures the progress, and where is that person's perspective, from the giving or receiving end of needed efforts, or from strictly an analyctical view. Even a little progress may not equate to a miracle, but every effort, no matter the size, is surely is moving towards good!
No where to go but up....
A

Yodood said...

Hi Amber,
I don't count them out who don't need inspiration to be in, I was addressing mostly those who have never trusted a government that has never trusted them, to say that their belief in any leader can only be as potent as their belief in themselves. We could all do more no matter what we've done in the past.

That nowhere to go but up is not a guarantee to rely on.

Anonymous said...

The flow of human energy towards positive or negative is an organic, constantly evolving process. Flowing like weather patterns. We'd all like analyze the current situation and say with confidence that our forecast looks good, but no one can ever tag a guarantee on any particular moment in time.
A

Pisces Iscariot said...

While it is evident that the US is have its very own Tony Blair moment, lets not be too hasty on welcoming the messiah into our lives - after all, the president of the you-ess-aye, incorrectly known as the 'most powerful man in the world' is answerable to the myriad pressure groups and lobbyist that paid for his campaign (not the rabble that actually voted for him).
Don't get me wrong, I am very glad that Obama has been elected, and I do hope that he will be able to make a least some change for the people of the US, but I am also a realist who knows that image and political promises are like pie-crusts.

Yodood said...

A, we agree

PI, Sorry you felt the need to trivialize the American Barack Obama moment with a comparison to one of Bush's toadies. Did it make you miss that I too was warning about the messiah complex, far more likely in our case? Don't know how closely you've been following, but it is quite evident to me that Obama GETS IT. His backing money averages out to around $30 per contributer,he knows who he owes.

Pisces Iscariot said...

I don't for a minute think Obama is anything like Bush & co - I am sure he is a man with a mission (possibly event an ethical man) - my point is merely that all the will in the world still leaves the president with the US political system which is money-based - Obama will need to begin campaigning for the next election now and will therefore need to choose between change and compromise. It remains to be seen not whether, but how much he will need to compromise.
Once again, I am extremely happy that Obama has won - not just for the US, but hopefully for all of those who are being effected by US foreign and fiscal policy.
You point about the messiah complex is a real fear, and this is why I call this your 'Tony Blair' moment. Blair's belief that 'he knows better' is what led the UK into Iraq.
As a sceptic I must withhold judgement on your new pres until such time as all the empty and meaningless campaign words are forgotten and we enter into the reality of capitalist politik.

Minx said...

Neatly put, Dood. Pre election I was prepared for the circus-like campaign trails of the candidates, the pearly white smiles and the plethora of baby hugging. What surprised me was the strength of feeling, a tangible hope for change that was felt across the world.
Obama delivered a message of hope, messiah-like to some, but essentially he has tapped into the power of positive thought. I just hope that positive action gets everyone taking the bus!

Yodood said...

PI, Here is a link showing how Obama got from under owing special interests. As I said, he gets it from all angles and the big picture. If he plays the right tune people will gladly dance to the rhythm.

Hi Minx, I have a very good feeling about this man, but after a lifetime of experiencing nothing but greedy liars in politics I didn't think a good man could get through the muck. The article I referred Pisces to above talks about how his grass roots contributions kept him from owing the big money that is the most corrupting influence on usually ambitious louts that want to run the country just for those perks.

troutsky said...

For a couple of months I have been teasing my Obamaniac wife with the song Oh Bama Hey Bama Bama bama hey bama obama hey bama (Hey JC won't you smile at me)

It ain't the second coming but it's better than what was.The practical question is how to practice that "involved citizenship" of which you speak? The current structure does not facilitate movement building once all the posters are down and the balloons deflated.

Yodood said...

"current structure does not facilitate movement building"

Could the fact that you say "current sructure" and "movement building" mean that you think movements should be structures. You should know as well as anyone I know that movements are castrated by structure from the exclusionary, less than altruistic practices of unions to civil rights when taken under the stifling wing of mother culture and administrated structure. The variety involved, the fullness of the spectrum is the beauty everyone recognizes from their best dreams. The hippies faded because they had no government representation — guess what, the climate is right for that mycelium to bloom again. We now have the freedom, encouragement and, as if we needed it, permission to be as good as we are — everywhere. People thriving from sympathy for chronic victimhood are gonna have to get over it — the man ain't the enemy any more.