“The change we need isn’t just about new programs and policies. It’s about a new politics – a politics that calls upon our better angels instead of encouraging our worst instincts; one that reminds us of the obligations we have to ourselves and one another.”
— Barack Obama, Canton, Ohio, October 27, 2008.
Mediation calls upon our “better angels.” And in mediation we learn to see a problem through another person’s eyes. In the family mediation that I practice, we all work together to figure out solutions that are good for ourselves and one another – for the whole family.
Mediation is built upon a notion that people in conflict can work to solve a problem together. But in order to do that, we must allow ourselves to see “that of God” in the other person. We must disengage, if only for a few moments, from sparring with each other — just long enough to hear what the other person is saying. It is at that moment that they will also hear us. Light and air come into the room.
Barack Obama is fundamentally inclusive. He understands, perhaps intuitively, the very core of mediation. What would it mean if we had, as president, someone who was a mediator at his center?
I truly believe that the reason his campaign has come as far as it has is because it IS built on hope – on optimism, it calls on that which is truly good in us. He calls us to be our highest selves. And we, in turn, are rising to the task. We are allowing ourselves to believe that love is possible, no matter what happens in war, with the economy. We are allowing ourselves to believe that the best way to bring ourselves up from under is with each other. We are all interconnected. We need each other.