Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Weight of the World
Too many hopes are riding on one man's shoulders and to be certain the weight of these hopes will crush him or at least crush those who have chosen to put their hopes there. But perhaps he asked for it when he campaigned for change, he asked people to rest their hopes on him, to bet on him, to vote for change. He didn't really comprehend what he was asking, or perhaps he comprehended but thought he could do it, or perhaps he was too successful in getting what he asked for. But the weight of this world's burdens will crush him. No man can live up to these expectations, there's too much that has gone wrong with the world for one man to change it all even if that man occupies the most powerful position in the world. The quality of hope has changed, it has become a hope that something decent starts changing in the world, but the world is not a place for decent things to happen. There's too much evil, there's too much hate and it's easier to destroy than to build.
With the kind of expectations that people have, he has no choice but to disappoint, not because he had the world fooled and that his hidden agenda was sinister, but because he is a good man and it takes more than being that to eradicate evil. Do I make it sound too simplistic like a superhero comic? Well, when it comes down to it, after all the shades of gray are attributed to their respective black and whites, it's approximated to this kind of simplicity.
A video I watched addressed to Obama triggered these thoughts. The letter to Obama relayed through video by an Israeli human rights activist was roughly save us Obama from the evil we inflict on palestinians and save us from our aching conscience. The video recalled Obama's promises to save the world, and they were calling him in to live up to these promises; save us from our acts, save us from our sins. She asked him to stop how complacent the IDF soldiers felt while killing young children, to stop the inhumane treatment of Palestinians, to end the terror inflicted on palestinians by Israel. The woman in her letter said that she prayed for Obama to win even though she didn't believe in God. In a way, with her letter she was praying to Obama. How many of us want to send out a letter or video to someone out there to change the way we live? I would suppose that most people on the globe would want to send out a letter entitled Dear Obama, or Dear Mubarak, or Dear Qadafi even. The reason we don't send out to the latter two is because we're certain they won't listen, or perhaps we don't send out to others because we know they won't be able to do anything even if they wanted to.
The world has replaced the prayer to an all powerful God, to human beings who can hardly live up to their promises, who can only try to change the world and most likely will fail. The world says it doesn't need God anymore, but strip the world of the facade they believe in called a system and a government and you will see how much they need God. The ongoing prayers to other humans who control their fate is strong evidence that there is a need for God even in the presence of a government and rules. Who do you turn to when the law has failed you? When your leaders have failed you? When humans have failed you? When the world has failed you?
That woman in the video has chosen to turn to Obama, a man who has promised with words what we all want to see happen. He has promised that the most powerful man will be all that we wish him to be. But even if he did live up to his word, can he answer all prayers?
I'm not saying that God answers all our prayers, or that God must exist just because man has failed. I know many people who at some point in their life felt no need for God. I'm just saying that the need for God is real in a world gone wrong, when all the systems that man has made could not protect him. The need to thank someone, the need to call out for someone, the need to find someone to help you through the hard times, because I imagine it would be very lonely when all men as well as spirits have forsaken you. I see many lonely people, trying to find someone to call out for. They call out on people that will probably never be able to help, like another Obama who is probably too busy failing others he has already promised to make yet another promise.