Setting an example
There is so much news about the presidential candidates as we move to the finish line on November. Much of what we read is a rehash of what was said that day on the campaign trail or some pundits interpretation of whose ahead or behind in the polls.
On Thursday I was reading my daily dose of political Blogs, when I read the candidates schedule for the upcoming day. Something on Barack Obama’s schedule jumped out at me. He was scheduled to stop in Chicago on Friday evening to spend time with his daughters for Halloween.
This seemed truly extraordinary. At one time in my life, I was a very busy person. Flying here and there around the world. I had important meetings and important phone calls. When these important events happened, I would often cancel or rearrange some plans I had with my family.
Now I know that I was far less busy that Barack Obama and the things I was doing were far less intense than the final few days of a presidential campaign. The fact that Senator Obama continues to bring balance to his life and doesn’t forget to include his children in his list of important priorities not only impresses me, it gives me hope.
I have a growing concern that at the root of many of the challenges we face is our loss of connection with our humanity. As we become busier and filled with more information, I have noticed that we relate less with the true nature of each other. In corporations I have found that the leaders who are not in touch with the workforce or their customers have very little feeling about layoffs or not meeting customer’s expectations. Call a “customer service” operation at most companies and you will first encounter a maze of technology and if you are lucky a “real person” will talk to you if needed. This “real person” is more often than not guided in their conversation with you by a script they follow that is displayed on their computer screen.
This dehumanization shows up in many others ways. Yet the problems we face are very human. Our housing is in jeopardy We don’t have enough food. We are fearful because of the violence in our town. Our climate is growing more toxic. Our jobs are lost. These and other issues require us to come together as human communities focused on supporting each other.
I am hopeful that Barack Obama brings an example of remembering our humanity that can inspire us all.