I remember the day that Bush was elected into his second term.
I pretty much knew result after attending an election party the night before. Strange that parties are held for such thing in the States, in Australia no one cares much. One idiot usually follows another.
I had my heart invested in this one, because I believe that the President and America had the power to change the direction of our world. I mean weren’t they the ones that got us into this mess with the War on Terror?
I sat at the traffic light on the way to work and heard the official announcement on the radio. Giant sobs erupted from my chest.
What was going to happen to us now?
How could we ever learn now to get along? Bush was not going to tell us the truth, he was going to fight against this enemy– the enemy that tells us we are all different and we should fear each other.
I wanted someone to be voted in who could extend hands of friendship and forgiveness instead of anger and retribution.
I sobbed for a world that was lost.
Dear Mr President
I cried when I first heard Pink’s song, Dear Mr President, a couple of years later. It spoke my frustration, anger and hatred at Bush and his team.
Pink was asking him what I wanted to, Why don’t you care about the world? Why you can’t be kinder? Why you don’t have compassion? Why you don’t use that man in the mirror every morning to guide you?
Having taught in America, I knew the bullshit that he created called No Child Left Behind. And then there was the scorn Dick Cheney had for his lesbian daughter. They stood for so much of what I despised so I hated them with a unhelpful passion.
How could they ever walk with their heads held high?
Dear Mr President was a powerful song in my life and I still believe it is a powerful influence in my life.
I shared it with a friend of mine who also hated Bush.
I can’t even remember exactly what he said, something to do with being a little harsh and unhelpful. It stopped me in my tracks and made me think of myself, of others and of our world.
Over the years the anger and hatred towards Bush has dissipated. I tried to see it from another angle. Perhaps he was doing what he thought was right, perhaps he did have good intentions.
To be honest, I really don’t believe that to be so, but it did help me to start to forgive.
There will always be monsters like him, or let’s say far far worse than him, in power. It has been like that since the beginning of time.
Outside influences will always have an impact on the world, and to be honest, there is little we can do to control the power and greed that overcomes a human being’s sense of fairness and compassion.
If I hand over the world to these people, then I become powerless and afraid. It doesn’t have to be like that, because I have the power over my own life.
Be the Change you wish to see
It doesn’t matter what others do, I can control my world and how I want it to be. The most powerful statement of all came from the lips of a great leader, Ghandi
Be the Change you wish to see in the world.
There is no point getting angry at others, frustrated, and full of hate because you are just creating a world that looks like this.
You need to be the change.
In hating Bush, I wasn’t being peaceful. I wasn’t being forgiving, I wasn’t being kind and compassionate, yet this was the world I wanted. I was upset with leaders who weren’t creating it, but then I wasn’t creating it myself. How can they have so much power over my life like that?
Now I don’t really join any political or social movements (you can read about my short stint in the Socialist Party where I learned pretty much the same thing). I know they are ineffective because they are trying to force change from the outside.
I don’t need to march along the streets, throw tomatoes at politicians, or point my finger at my neighbour; I just have to be the change.
It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s liberating.
If every single one of us stopped looking outside of ourselves to change the world and just looked within, we’d change it.
One by one. Light catching light.
And so now I listen to Dear Mr President over and over again, and I cry almost every time. I listen now, not to appease my aggrievement, but to remind myself to be the person that has compassion, that cares, and to create that world I want by being it.
How are you being the change?