April 26, 2017

In His First Post-Presidential Talk, Obama Sounds More Like a Spiritual Leader than a Politician.


“Political talents like [Obama’s] are rare and they do matter.” ~ Amy Davidson 


In a refreshingly apolitical “gum chewing” talk at the University of Chicago, President Barack Obama returned to his old stomping grounds to discuss leadership and the future.

He was endearing with the students; he was engaged; he was wise. But neither he nor anyone else mentioned Donald Trump’s name, or Hillary Clinton’s. It was as though the election had never happened.”

Along the way, he gave advice that is not only good for anyone seeking a career in politics, but for anyone seeking to lead a successful life in general.

In fact, if you didn’t know it was Obama speaking, you could easily attribute many of his statements to a Buddhist or other spiritual leader.

But you can decide for yourself.

Here is a summary of his cogent remarks:

  • There are many pathways to engagement, including outside of politics.
  • Make it a practice to speak directly to those people who you assume do not agree with you.
  • Be cognizant of fake news while being on the alert to let more voices in, rather than keeping others out.
  • The need to establish trust is essential in leadership.
  • Both sides of a debate needed to hear and respect each other.
  • Don’t assume that those who have trouble with the current immigration system are necessarily racist.
  • Try to find ways to give people a sense that your frames of reference and values are not so different from theirs.
  • Failure is terrible but necessary to learn how to develop “resilience” and a sense of purpose.

And finally:

  • Worry less about what you want to be and more about what you want to do in life.






Author: Carmelene Siani
Image: YouTube/Time
Editor: Travis May

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Jim Barausky Apr 26, 2017 2:19pm

What we say and what we do, especially a politician is vastly different. To fill out the picture: Obama kept us at war for the entire 8 years of his presidency. He tried to institute trade packages such as tttp and ttip, that would place corporate interests above those of our government and other sovereign govenments. He supported drone attacks in countires we had not declared war on, and tried to get us into war with Syria,(this blocked by congress). Words are cheap, its our actions that count.

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Carmelene Siani

Carmelene is a 77-year-old freelance writer who has been published at Elephant Journal, Better after 50, Huffington Post, The Reader, and Broad Magazine among others. Her stories are personal narratives on grief, family, food, and late-life love. Her aim is to help others see the ways that life is constantly opening to reveal its own lessons. She lives by the dictum of Muriel Rukeyser that “the universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

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