The United States and the world has bought into short term thinking. Also, no one believes in Joan of Arcadia's definition of "evil" (Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and, it functions best when no one believes in it."). So, evil is functioning at its best right now. Deception, and corruption, are all around us. While greed, for lack of a better keyword, may be "charming and beautiful..", it forces people to make one small compromise after another. It also operates best when no one believes that GREED is evil.
So, while short term thinking is a result of "doubting yourself" for the long term (a Kahil Gibran quote - "Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother."), all those compromises to the highest level of Christian ETHICS can whittle down politicians, wall street, and even main street.
President Elect Barack Obama ("PEBO") has great ideas! Certainly, TRANSPARANCY is one of his best. But, he also recognizes the need for all kinds of CHANGE. GOV. Here is what "The Rebbe of Apt" said about changing yourself, "As a young man, I was determined to change the world. As I matured, I narrowed my goals to changing my community. Still later, I decided to change only my family. Now I realize that it is all I can do to change myself". In effect, PEBO is also saying what Marshall McCluhan says: "There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew." PEBO, again, knows what Margaret Mitchell said: "Every problem has two handles. You can grab it by the handle of fear or the handle of hope."
All the world can do is to HOPE (Helen Keller quote: "It gives me a deep comforting sense that ‘things seen are temporal and things unseen are eternal.") that PEBO realizes how sage the question is that St. John Vianney asked years ago: "Do you know what is the first temptation the devil presents to someone who has begun to serve God better? It is human respect." Because, if he does, he will understand in a clear and complete way what Thomas Merton said: "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real."
Let's all wish PEBO "Godspeed" in his dreams of a better future for us all, while he pragmatically carries out his plans. Let's HOPE that "The hardness of the human heart.." does not get in the way. Maybe Abraham Linclon will inspire PEBO with "Nearly all men can stand adversity..."
As for me, a humble Catholic, I love what Mother Teresa said in "Be Anyway..", as it is, IMO, the true definition of INTEGRITY! Oh, and what Mother Teresa would probably also say today is that "WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW in addition to LOVE is HOPE, FAITH, AND CHARITY!"
Kindness, Joy, Peace, Love (Hope - Faith - Charity), and Happiness to ALL,
PS - You May Have To Scroll Up or Down a bit to get each quote centered to read!