Our worship leader for this Sunday, E, has found and adapted this reading by David Spangler, from a longer document with the same title. Each paragraph will be read by a different congregant hornswoggled into it by me before the service. I hope you find it interesting and inspiring.
ELECT YOUR INNER PRESIDENT – By David Spangler
1. . . . When great issues are at stake and crises stalk the land, there is a tendency to pin our hopes and desires on a single leader, the "magical" person who will make it all come right. However, the President is still only a human being like the rest of us, capable of wisdom and folly, successes and mistakes.
2. The President cannot by himself or herself change global climate upheaval nor end violence on earth; he (or eventually she) cannot through the power of that office bring someone else to love or bless, cherish or have compassion for another person.
3. He, or she as President, cannot bring about the truly essential changes - the changes of mind and heart, consciousness and spirit - that will most heal the damage that we do to ourselves, to each other, and to the world.
4. This is something only we can do, something only each person can do in the Oval Office of his or her own heart and mind. We often decry the seeming powerlessness of the individual and our inability to "really make a difference" when it comes to the great issues of our times. But this is not true. What it comes down to, is taking responsibility within our immediate world for the values and the changes we want to see implemented.
5. The environment I want to heal is all around me; it's my backyard, my front yard, my neighborhood; the planet is very local. The violence I would like to end in the world must stop in my own thoughts, my own words, my own actions.
6. Changing one heart at a time may not seem like much when there are billions of hearts in the world, but we are also linked energetically. Not that my change is going to make you change but as I change, I alter the spiritual "quality" of the whole system. Each loving act, each compassionate act, each healing, caring act makes all such acts more likely.
7. We don't have the time or the luxury to simply sit back and let a President Obama or a President McCain "do it." We need to do what we can; we need to preside over our own capacities to make a difference, even if that difference is in making one other person's life easier, happier, more blessed, or more productive today.
8. In the final analysis, it is this inner President residing in the Light House of our own hearts and minds who will change the world through our individual acts of love and compassion. Change is our responsibility. Elect your inner President and make it so!