Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The “Greater Good” and the Obama vs McCain 2008 Election

I generally try to stay out of politics - a dirty business if I ever saw one! But just about the time I was writing my “Greater Good” article: ( http://beliefstagesandgrowth.com/blog/on-intercessory-prayer-reiki-and-the-greater-good/#more-139 ) a thought occurred to me: “What about the “Greater Good” in this upcoming election?”

It just seems this time there are less clear cut answers than in prior elections I can recall. People I have spoken with seem confused about which candidate would be better and many are still undecided. There are conflicting factors on either side, which, in my attempt to “avoid politics,” I will decline to enumerate here. The point is that in this election, as in so many other issues in life, almost no one knows all the factors that should be considered. Our knowledge of both candidates is seriously clouded by a media system that no longer even pretends to be impartial or objective. Almost no one has a complete view by which to make a sound decision.

Of course it is our civic duty to use our intellect to DECIDE which candidate we think is best and vote accordingly. But here we really should consider what “best”means. Do we really want only to vote for the candidate that is “best” for our own personal interests? Could it be possible that what WE want for our own personal interests could be in conflict with what would be “best” overall for everyone in the whole country? How about considering what would be “best” for the whole world?

Considering only our own personal interests and voting accordingly makes us “egocentric.” Here is a hint: that means “selfish!” (for readers of my blog, that corresponds with the “Lawless” level.) It also means we don’t have much compassion for anyone outside of ourselves. I contend that the critical mass of this nation has grown beyond this stage of existence. I contend that more people than not have matured to a point where they can consider the needs of others - in life in general as in voting. So let’s not just vote according to our own personal interests.

Considering what is best for our favorite political party (and voting accordingly) is a somewhat more evolved stance than looking only at our own personal interests. Voting for our party is “ethnocentric” behavior. Its about the same as voting for a local bill that would renovate the school in your district but voting against the bill that would provide funds to renovate the school in the neighboring district. It elevates the needs of YOUR group above the needs of OTHERS. It is also similar to thinking only your church is the one true church and all the others are wrong. (in accordance with the “Faithful” group, for readers of my blog.) This is not the most mature way to believe, behave, or vote either.

Folks, I think this time (the November, 2008 election) the stakes are high enough that we need to rise above our “egocentric” and “ethnocentric” considerations. We need to look at what is best for the nation - and more broadly - what is best for the world. This would make us “worldcentric.” It is a more evolved stance.

I am not going to tell you which candidate is best for the world. Here is where the “greater good” concept comes in. I cannot pretend to KNOW which candidate would be best for this nation and the world. But I can assure you that whoever is best for the nation is also the one that is best for the world. I can also assure you that the one that is best for you in the long run is the same one that is best for the nation and the world. That is because we are all connected. What we do against one person or one nation we do against ourselves - maybe not in the short run, and maybe not in as obvious a way, but in the long run for sure. There have been many things in history that this nation has done against the world. In the long run, all of them were also done against ourselves. Our only hope is that the good things our nation has done along the way somehow balance out the bad things done recently.

Since none of us has the complete picture of which candidate would be “best” for the greatest portion of the world’s population, none of us really knows which candidate represents the “greater good.” We have two things we must each do. One, read and listen to media attempts on both sides to get the most balanced view possible on which to make our own voting decision. Then we must rise above our own egocentric, personal interest concerns, above our ethnocentric political party concerns, and yes, even above our country’s own interests and pray (chant, send Reiki, or whatever) to whoever we believe in may be determining the “greater good” - that a significant majority of voters will be moved on November 4 to check the box or pull the lever for the candidate who will effect “greater good” in this world.

….And that our votes will be counted fairly…….this time!


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