My words

Dear my Friends!
If only you could see the whole picture, if you knew the whole story, you would realize that no problem ever comes to you that does not have a purpose in your life, that can not contribute to your inner growth...

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

by Dr. Guy Pettit

(Excerpt from The Forgiveness Program)

It is the exploration of what this might be that we do from now on in this seminar - and in life after the seminar! Its mystery and depth cannot be explained. Yet we all recognize its presence and its magic. It reveals itself through joy, which can even increase in adversity. We can learn to see ourselves as moving towards becoming able to express it ever more fully. We can learn the steps in developing this quality, which is still in the process of evolving or revealing itself.

Unconditional love is enlarging the self, and an act of will. It is not a feeling or an emotional reaction. Think of the difference between falling in love, and growing in love through all difficulties and conflicts. Unconditional love is an act of mental and spiritual will, it cannot and does not take place upon the emotional level, which is where the problems first register. Unconditional love is extending oneself in the service of the spiritual growth of oneself and/or another, independently of reward or the behavior of others.


To truly love in this way could include:

· To call forth a sense of responsibility, and a capacity to make wise choices.

· To point out weaknesses people have, - but very caringly so that the best in the person is drawn forth in response, rather than resistance.

· To challenge people to strive and attain, and discover their true selves..

· To help people work on their habits and weaknesses so that they become stronger. To show them how to use their will correctly.

· To help people learn to cooperate, and thus to overcome their little egos.

· To engage people in working for humanity.

· To teach people how to overcome their prejudices, resentments, separative tendencies, vanities, illusions, and other blocks to their own joy.

To truly love in this way does NOT mean:

· To surrender to weakness.

· To accept things that are harmful.

· To encourage weakness or irresponsibility.

· To accept dirt or ugliness in thought, feeling or action.

· To exploit or use people.

· To put people into sleep.

· To tolerate laziness.

Unconditional love causes you to see what has really caused a situation and to see through the outer appearances to the true needs or yourself and others, without criticism of yourself or others . It causes you to see the basic good in yourself and other(s).

Unconditionally loving people see their own errors and joyfully self-correct them .

They love themselves, others and the Source of Life, and therefore the whole of life. In particular, they are inclusive, and can maintain love and goodwill towards both the apparent "victim" and "oppressor" in a situation.

They seek to radiate their inner harmony and joy, peace and healing into any situation - without conditions or expectation of reward, and independently of the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others.

They are group conscious and do not react by immediately taking sides.

They serve the cause of peace and goodwill, and can often find ways to a fair solution of conflict that are not available to emotionally charged people. Gandhi taught the use of ahimsa and satyagraha, which is the willingness to cooperate harmlessly with the good intentions of the other for the true benefit of both.

The Forgiveness Process can be seen to be a process which moves us towards this goal of unconditional love.


"Peace on earth will come

when the love of power

is replaced by

the power of love."

Sri Chinnoy

Forgiveness Process Common 5
“The Path to Love”
by Deepak Chopra


In “The Path to Love”, Dr. Deepak Chopra shows us that by bringing spirituality back into our relationships, we can discover a world of depth and meaning that infuses every day with romance and passion.


"You were created to be completely loved and completely lovable for your whole life."
All of us need to believe that we are loved and lovable. We began life with confidence on both points, bathed in a mother's love and swaddled in our own innocence. Love was never in question, but over time our certainty clouded. When you look at yourself today, can you still make the two statements every infant could if it had the words?

I am completely loved.
I am completely lovable.

Few people can, for looking at yourself honestly you see flaws that make you less than completely lovable and less than perfectly loved. In many ways this seems right to you, for perfect love is supposedly not of this world. Yet in a deeper sense, what you call flaws are really just the scars of hurts and wounds accumulated over a lifetime. When you look in the mirror, you think you are looking at yourself realistically, but your mirror doesn't reveal the truth that endures despite all hurt:

In a way it is amazing that you do not realize this, because underneath everything you think and feel, innocence is still intact. Time cannot blemish your essence, your portion of spirit. But if you lose sight of this essence, you will mistake yourself for your experiences, and there is no doubt that experience can do much to obliterate love. In an often hostile and brutal world, maintaining innocence seems impossible. Therefore, you find yourself experiencing only so much love and only so much lovability.

This can change.

"In spirit you are unbounded by time and space, untouched by experience. In spirit you are pure love."
Although you perceive yourself in limited terms, as a mind and a body confined in time and space, there is a wealth of spiritual teaching that says otherwise. In spirit you are unbounded by time and space, untouched by experience. In spirit you are pure love.

The reason you do not feel completely loved and completely lovable is that you do not identify with your spiritual nature. Your sense of love has lost one thing it cannot afford to do without: its higher dimension. What would it be like to restore this lost part of yourself?

Mind, body, and spirit would unite--this union creates the love you have to give. You and your beloved would unite--this creates the love you have to share.

In our deepest nature each person is meant to be the hero or heroine of an eternal love story. The story begins in innocence, with a baby's birth into a mother's loving arms. It proceeds through stages of growth, as the young child step' out into the world. With more and more experience the circle of love widens, including first family and friends, then intimate partners, but also taking in love of abstract things, like learning and truth. The ripening journey brings us to love of giving, and the blossoming of higher values, such as compassion, forgiveness, and altruism. Finally there is the direct experience of spirit itself, which is pure love. The journey climaxes in the same knowledge that a baby began with, although it couldn't voice that knowledge: I am love.

You know that you have fully experienced love when you turn into love--that is the spiritual goal of life.
Not many people find the spiritual goal of life. The aching need created by lack of love can only be filled by learning anew to love and be loved. All of us must discover for ourselves that love is a force as real as gravity, and that being upheld in love every day, every hour, every minute is not a fantasy-it is intended as our natural state.

"However good or bad you feel about your relationship, the person you are with at this moment is the "right" person, because he or she is a mirror of who you are inside."
This book is about reviving love stories that should never have faded. The union of self and spirit is not only possible but inevitable. The spiritual meaning of love is best measured by what it can do, which is many things.

Love can heal.
Love can renew.
Love can make us safe.
Love can inspire us with its power.
Love can bring us closer to God.

Everything love is meant to do is possible. Knowing this, however, has only made the gap between love and non-love more painful.

Countless people have experienced love--as pleasure, sex, security, having someone else fulfill their daily needs--without seeing that a special path has opened to them. Socially, the "normal" cycle of love is simply to find a suitable partner, marry, and raise a family. But this social pattern isn't a path, because the experience of marriage and raising a family isn't automatically spiritual. Sad to say, many people enter lifelong relationships in which love fades over time or provides lasting companionship without growing in its inner dimension. A spiritual path has only one reason to exist: it shows the way for the soul to grow. As it grows, more of spiritual truth is revealed, more of the soul's promise is redeemed.

When you find your path, you will also find your love story. People today are consumed by doubts about their relationships: Have I found the right partner? Am I being true to myself? Have I given the best part of myself away? As a result, there is a restless kind of consumer shopping for partners, as if the "right" one can be found by toting up a potential mate's pluses and minuses until the number of pluses matches some mythical standard. The path to love, however, is never about externals. However good or bad you feel about your relationship, the person you are with at this moment is the "right" person, because he or she is a mirror of who you are inside. Our culture hasn't taught us this (as it has failed to teach us so much about spiritual realities). When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself. Every conflict you wage is an excuse not to face a conflict within. The path to love therefore clears up a monumental mistake that millions of people make--the mistake that someone "out there" is going to give (or take) something that is not already yours. When you truly find love, you find yourself.

Therefore the path to love isn't a choice, for all of us must find out who we are. This is our spiritual destiny. The path can be postponed; you can lose faith in it or even despair that love exists at all. None of that is permanent; only the path is. Doubt reflects the ego, which is bound in time and space; love reflects God, eternal divine essence. The ultimate promise on the path to love is that you will walk in the light of a truth extending beyond any truth your mind presently knows.

Excerpted from The Path to Love by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 1997 by Deepak Chopra.

"However good or bad you feel about your relationship, the person you are with at this moment is the 'right' person, because he or she is a mirror of who you are inside." - Deepak Chopra
A Definition of Unconditional Love

Love without condition

"I love you as you are, as you seek to find your own special way to relate to the world, or the way you feel that is right for you. It is important that you are the person you want to be and not someone that I or others think you should be."
I realize that I cannot know what is best for you although perhaps sometimes I think I do. I've not been where you have been, viewing life from that angle you have, I do not know what you have chosen to learn, how you have chosen to learn it, with whom, or in what time period. I have not walked life looking through your eyes, so how can I know what you need.
I allow you to be in the world without a thought or word of judgment from me about the deeds you undertake. I see no error in the things you say and do, in this place where I am. I see that there are many ways to perceive and experience the different facets of our world. I allow without reservation the choices you make in each moment.
I make no judgment of this for if I were to deny your right to evolution, then I would deny that right to myself and all others. To those who would choose a way I cannot walk, whilst I may not choose to add my power and my energy to this way, I will never deny you the gift of love that God has bestowed within me for all creation, as I love you so I shall be loved; as I sow, so I shall reap.
I allow you the universal right of free will to walk your own path, creating steps or to sit a while if that is what is right for you. I will make no judgment of these steps, whether they are large or small, nor light or heavy or that they lead up or down, for this is just my viewpoint. I see you do nothing and might judge it to be unworthy. And yet, it may be that you bring great healing as you stand blessed by the light of God.
I cannot always see the higher picture of divine order. For it is the inalienable right of all life to choose their own evolution and with great love I acknowledge your right to determine your future. In humility I bow to the realization that the way I see is best for me does not have to mean that it is also right for you. I know that you are led as I am following the inner excitement to know your own path.
I know that the many races, religions, customs, nationalities and beliefs within our world bring us great richness and allow us the benefit of teachings of such diverseness. I know we each learn in our own unique way in order to bring that love and wisdom back to the whole. I know that if there were only one way to do something, there would need to be only one person. I will not only love you if you behave in a way I think you should, or believe in those things I believe in. I understand you are truly my brother and sister though you may have been born in a different place and believe in another God than I.
The love I feel is for all of God's world. I know that every living thing is part of God and I feel a love deep within every person, and every tree, and flower, every bird, river, ocean and for all the creatures in all the world. I live my life in loving service being the best me I can, becoming wiser in the perfection of divine truth, becoming happier in the joy of unconditional love.

by Sandy Stevenson - Ascension 2000
True Eternal Love

by Michael Berg Author of “The Way”

“Ya’akov loved Rachel. He said (to her father Lavan) I will work for you for seven years, in exchange for your youngest daughter Rachel… Ya’akov worked for Rachel for seven years, but in his eyes it seemed like only a few days, for he loved her.”

It is not often that the Torah discusses love. Therefore, when we find such sections, we should focus on them and try to gain as much as we can in our understanding of love.

Love is a universal idea. Most people believe they feel or have felt love. But, as this section makes clear, what we think of as love and true love might not be the same thing. In fact, they might even be complete opposites. When a person loves someone he yearns to be with them, a day apart feels like years. But, as the Torah tells, in the case of Ya’akov, the opposite was true. Although he was separated from Rachel for seven years, “in his eyes it seemed like only a few days, because he loved her.” What does this mean? If he loved her, the years should have felt like centuries.

Although we are going to attempt to explain in a spiritual way what true love means, the concept is not easily understood. As Rabbi Ashlag says, what we do not truly comprehend and feel, cannot truly be understood by us. Therefore, it is difficult to understand true love, being as in reality, a lot of us have never actually felt it. If we come away with only one lesson from this section, it should be that what we perceive as love, and true love are two totally different things.

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Chasman uses the feeling of mercy and concern that we may feel for others as an example of the difference between true feelings and self-centered feelings for others. There are people who are naturally full of mercy for others. They cannot bear to see someone else suffering. Although this is an admirable quality, the reality is, that this feeling of mercy is centered around their “I”. It bothers them to see others suffer and they therefore want to assist the other person in alleviating that pain and suffering. This is of course a wonderful nature, but the reality of it is that it makes the person himself feel better when he is merciful for others. In other words, we can say that he is basically being merciful to himself.

The same idea is true concerning love. At its core, most of the time when people refer to love, that love is rooted in their love for themselves. This can be clarified with a parable. A man walks into a restaurant. The waiter asks him what he would like. He responds that he loves fish. The fish is cooked and then cut up. The man then proceeds to eat the fish. Is this love? Is this the way one treats someone he loves? This man does not love fish. He loves himself, he loves to fill himself with fish.

Although the story sounds kind of silly, it reveals a very important lesson. All of us use the word love. In this story it becomes clear that, more often than not, when we use the word love with respect to others, we actually mean love for ourselves. In other words, we love what that person does for us, the way he or she makes us feel. The bottom line is that we do not really love others, rather, we love ourselves. What we often feel as love for others is actually just an extension of our love for ourselves.

Therefore, when we love, it is really the “I” that we love. When we are separated from whatever it is that fulfils the “I”, we are upset and we cannot wait for the separation to end: a day seems like a year. Rabbi Yehuda Leib Chasman explains that true spiritual love is above and beyond time. Time does not affect true love for it does not exist on the same plane. This is the love that Ya’akov felt for Rachel. It was true love and was not influenced by time. This is what the Torah means when it says, “in his eyes, it seemed like only a few days,” for their love was true, and, therefore, beyond the boundaries of time. In a few words the Torah reveals what made their love so special, “for he loved her” - their love was not self-centered, it was the truest love, one could have for another person.

This explanation may not be easy to grasp. Let us crystallize the basic lesson, which we can hopefully begin to utilize in our life. If we want to develop spiritually, if we want to begin to truly love others, we should follow a two-step process: Firstly, we should take the time to think and realize how a lot of what we think of as love for others is truly an extension of our own self- love. Then we should try to focus ourselves on loving others, for what they are, and not for what they do for us physically or spiritually. This transformation from self-love to love of others is not a simple one. It takes time and effort but the reward of this process is to truly love others. When we reach that level of love, that is the ultimate, for that love is eternal beyond time and space. May we all merit to achieve true eternal love.

http://www.kabbalah.com/k/index.php/ref=M97&p=life/spirituality


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

HappiNESS

True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not. -Seneca

What is LOVE?

What is Love?
Our favorite description of love is from the movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin:
"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."
-St. Augustine

SMiLE


If you are not using your smile, then you are a person with million dollars in the bank having no cheque book. -Shakespeare

Saturday, July 24, 2010

PerFecT!

Dont expect your partner to be perfect! Sometimes were just asking for too much, we didnt notice that its already the best theyre giving.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WE ArE the wOrld

a WorD and its MeaninG

Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.

Russian Roulette

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Never say GOODBYE



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TOO SHORT



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ALONE, nevermind!



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How you made people FEEL



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The ONLY and AMAZING



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Her and Her



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BE HAPPY



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Here Waiting 4U



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HER...



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when U look me in the eyes



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... about ME



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i lOve U



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SOMEONE



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... THAN....



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LOVE, unDefineD



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AlligatoR



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UnTaken RiSK



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BUT



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NeVeR



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Real FRIEND



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LiKE A PhOnE



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SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN...



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THEIR LOSS



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FUTURE from DREAMS



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When YOU Smile



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ONCE... 4EVER...

BR>
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CRAZY about YOU



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FOOTPRINTS



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PADDLE!



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who YOU are



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fOR A ReaSoN



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RiSK


The greatest risk one could ever do, is by not taking it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What Makes a President Great?

What Makes a President Great?

What are the elements of presidential greatness? Historian Robert Dallek argues that there are six key qualities in presidential success: activism, vision, pragmatism, charisma, consensus building, and credibility. Luck also plays a part, in Dallek’s view, but the country’s greatest presidents have managed to make their mark even when circumstances seemed to conspire against them.


By Robert Dallek


Forty-one people have served in the presidency. Every one of them wanted to be remembered as an outstanding, if not great, president. Even the most conservative or cautious of America’s chief executives, such as James Buchanan, Calvin Coolidge, and Ronald Reagan, wanted to be recalled as leaders who made a significant difference in the nation's life.


But presidents who espoused passivity or self-denying inhibitions in the use of presidential power generally have not won high standing from historians. Great presidents, for the most part, have been aggressive activists—leaders who asserted themselves in response to domestic and global crises. They have been the presidents who rallied the nation to meet large challenges and who found workable answers to big questions.


Some of the least memorable presidents were those who served in times free of social turmoil. These leaders were often content to be caretakers who saw the country as more in need of freedom from government interference in economic and social matters than federal intervention to reform existing ways of life. Thomas Jefferson, who served in the White House from 1801 to 1809, may have caught the spirit of this conservatism best when he said, "The government that governs least governs best." Ronald Reagan echoed the point in his 1981 inaugural address when he asserted, "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."


Yet Jefferson's and Reagan's claims to greatness as presidents rest not on their restraint but on their accomplishments. The 1803 Louisiana Purchase, which roughly doubled the size of the United States, stands as one of Jefferson’s greatest legacies. Likewise, Reagan's ranking as a president stems from his aggressive role as champion of tax cuts and from his commitment to a military buildup to confront the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) during the Cold War.


Activism is only one element in the mix of ingredients that make a great president. Throughout American history at least six other influences have been at work in contributing to success in the White House. First, the country’s most highly regarded presidents have all been great visionaries who could imagine a new national future. This trait was balanced by a second important quality—pragmatism. This pragmatism meant that the visionary leaders could respond flexibly to changing public moods and political circumstances. Third, all of the country’s great presidents have had great personal charm or charisma. A fourth trait of great presidents has been their ability to earn and keep the trust of the public. The great presidents used this trust to become consensus builders in domestic and international policies, the fifth important element in presidential greatness. The sixth element in making a great presidency has been simple luck or favorable circumstance, which has enabled the leaders to put their skills to work.

Vision


The first requirement of presidential leadership, 20th-century historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., asserts, "is to point the republic in one or another direction. This can be done only if the person in the White House possesses, or is possessed by, a vision of the ideal America." Franklin Delano Roosevelt may have stated it best when, borrowing from the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, he declared in his first inaugural speech in 1933: "Where there is no vision, the people perish."


Presidential vision has been especially compelling when it has concrete results, as was most notably true of George Washington's efforts to create a working national government, or Abraham Lincoln's determination to preserve the integrity of the Union during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Similarly, Franklin Roosevelt offered the country a vision of America as a nation powerful enough to defeat Germany and Japan in World War II (1939-1945), but humane enough to improve living and working conditions for working-class Americans. Lyndon Johnson commanded public support with his commitment to end segregation in the South through the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, and by promising affordable health care for the elderly through enactment of Medicare. Reagan galvanized the public with his determination to reduce the power and influence of government by promising to lower taxes and cut federal programs.


Vision alone is never enough to assure a president a place in the front rank of presidents. But a compelling set of achievable objectives is a superb start. For a president, the only thing worse than clinging to a failed vision is having no vision at all. The country’s least successful chief executives have been those who had no clear idea of where they wished to steer the ship of state, especially in domestic affairs. James Buchanan and Benjamin Harrison in the 19th century and William Howard Taft and Warren Harding in the 20th century all came to political grief over their inability to define and convey their goals. In recent presidential history, George Bush fell victim to his indecisiveness when during his 1992 reelection campaign he belittled the notion of a strong domestic agenda as the "vision thing."

Pragmatism


Although all great presidents have been visionaries, they have also served the office as sensible realists or instrumentalists, as leaders who understood that political accomplishments often required flexibility of means to reach desirable ends. In a nation composed of a vast array of competing interests, presidential success has always depended at least partially on compromise with determined opponents. The corollary to the proposition that presidents without vision will perish is that without the right balance of political give and take, little, if anything, can be achieved by a chief executive.


Successful presidents have always realized that they could not get very far without constantly accommodating to change—change in events, change in mood, change in ideas, change that offered opportunities to advance American interests. Nineteenth-century American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson may have captured this spirit best when he wrote "I simply experiment, an endless seeker, with no Past at my back."


Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt were surely two of America’s most successful pragmatic political leaders. In 1864, Lincoln wrote privately in regard to the Emancipation Proclamation, "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me." Franklin Roosevelt was, in the words of his presidential predecessor Herbert Hoover, "a chameleon on plaid." His New Deal, as Roosevelt himself described it, was a series of experiments.


The minefield of national politics is strewn with presidents who were too ideological to bend and make concessions, such as Hoover and Andrew Johnson. Others were so lacking in political direction that their administrations faltered under the burden of their drift and lack of initiative. Examples include John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Rutherford B. Hayes, Taft, Harding, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter.


The leaders who survived and prospered in the White House have been those who had the keenest political sense. This sense required the presidents to combine a clear understanding of their goals with both a carefully judged assessment of what degree of change the country was ready to accept, and a strategic sense of when to accommodate themselves to opponents who were ready to yield on significant points. Without this skill, presidents have set their objectives too low, or expended all their political capital in hopeless battles.

Charisma


The most successful presidents have also been larger-than-life figures, actors on the stage of history with an uncommon capacity to bring drama to the office. "The media bring across the president," presidential scholar James David Barber says, "not as some neutral administrator or corporate executive to be assessed by his production, but as a special being with mysterious dimensions."


Presidents have succeeded and failed in proportion to their effectiveness in making strong use of this power to become popular figures. The most capable have been able to reduce the distance between themselves and the people by diminishing the impersonality of the office, or by using their personal appeal to excite public interest and affection.


Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt are excellent examples. As president, Lincoln was perceived as a kind of Christ figure, ready to sacrifice himself for the country. One commentator said that Lincoln accepts "the torments and moral burdens of a blundering and sinful people, suffers for them, and redeems them with hallowed Christian virtues." Preaching "malice toward none and charity for all" as the postwar plan for healing national wounds, he invoked the compassion of Christ's teachings, and by so doing lifted himself to a station far above the actions of ordinary presidents and politicians. But more than suffering tied Lincoln to his contemporaries. He was also distinguished by his ambition and his humble upbringing, which made him the quintessential self-made man.


Theodore Roosevelt was the first of the country’s 20th-century chiefs to achieve a degree of heroic status similar to that enjoyed by Washington, Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Lincoln. Roosevelt was the country’s first modern media president, and he used his talents as an early public-relations expert to fashion himself into one of the most popular leaders in U.S. history.


Unlike his heroic predecessors, however, Roosevelt’s public allure was not an expression of sacrifice, tragedy, or self-fulfillment. Instead, Roosevelt’s stature came from the popular fascination with his dynamic personality, which reignited national hopes for a unified America, from his articulation of common goals at home, and from his effective assertion of national ideals abroad.


Bill Clinton is an interesting example of how charisma serves a president. Despite his impeachment and trial for high crimes and misdemeanors, Clinton’s approval ratings remained as high as any two-term president this century. Clinton’s personality included personal failings that many Americans could identify with and forgive. With the American economy consistently expanding, Clinton maintained an extraordinary hold on the public. Unlike the Republican-dominated Congress, Clinton impressed most Americans as being on their side. To many, Clinton seemed to be a moderate spokesman for the national interest who was victimized by vindictive opponents.

Credibility and Trust


Successful presidential leadership has always depended on a presidential administration’s credibility and the public’s trust in a president's word. "Trust is the coin of the realm," said George Schultz, secretary of state during the Reagan administration. Presidents have lost their credibility in either of two ways: by breaking with accepted standards of national governance or by promising more than they could deliver. Indeed, observing traditional rules and fulfilling avowed goals have been crucial tests of presidential effectiveness.


Take the cases of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in the first category. Johnson's failure to openly consult the public on escalation of the Vietnam War joined with suspicions about his deviousness as a politician to create a "credibility gap." “How do you know when Lyndon Johnson is telling the truth?” comedians asked in the 1960s. “When he strokes his chin or tugs his ear lobe, he is telling the truth. When he moves his lips, you know he's lying.” Likewise, the Watergate break-in and cover-up in the early 1970s destroyed Nixon's ability to govern. The Watergate tapes demonstrated his involvement in "high crimes and misdemeanors" and forced his resignation. But his lost credibility with the public, as much as anything else, compelled him to leave office.


Presidents who make unrealizable promises also court political disaster. Woodrow Wilson moved Americans to accept huge military budgets and sacrifice their lives to fight World War I (1914-1918) by asserting that it would be the war to end all wars and that it would make the world safe for democracy. By 1919, however, it began to be clear that Wilson had set unreasonably high expectations. There was no way to achieve the sort of peace that would permanently end international strife and assure the future of global democracy. Americans lost confidence in Wilson’s judgment, and the U.S. Senate rejected his request to commit the country to involvement in the League of Nations, a world body designed to promote collective security and bring an end to war.


Bill Clinton is an interesting example of how the contemporary public differentiates between lying in a private matter and credibility in public service. By lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton compromised his reputation. But the revelation that he had lied about his involvement with a 21-year-old White House intern did not shatter his presidential credibility. Because his domestic and foreign policies seemed effective, the public did not lose faith in his capabilities as a president. Despite impeachment charges against him for perjury and obstruction of justice, a majority of Americans discounted these alleged crimes as having little to do with his integrity as a public official.

Consensus Building


Vision, pragmatism, charisma, and trust have all been put in the service of building a national consensus for a president's leadership. America’s most astute presidents have understood how vital a broad consensus is to any far-reaching domestic or foreign policy. They have also appreciated how fickle and unreliable the public mood has been, and how difficult it can be to get the nation to support a presidential proposal, especially if it represented a departure from customary patterns. In the 1990s Bill Clinton's inability to win support for comprehensive national health-care reform is as good an example as one can find in recent presidential history to illustrate the point.


The best example of presidential success in consensus building is Franklin Roosevelt’s effective direction of national affairs in the early years of World War II, from 1939 to 1941. Roosevelt believed that the United States had no choice but to help the democracies defeat Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and militaristic Japan. The mass of Americans, however, wished to avoid involvement in the conflict. Roosevelt, understanding that the requirement of an effective policy abroad was a stable consensus for that policy at home, worked tirelessly to convince the public to shift ground. He deftly crafted programs that supported the Allied countries but did not exceed the public tolerance for involvement in the war. The lend-lease program, for example, gave American weapons to the Allies on generous financial terms. Roosevelt’s gradual expansion of American involvement combined with the intensification of the war to build national backing for participation in the war. The decision to fight, of course, was compelled by Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1941. The attack was a genuine surprise and solidified public opinion behind the commitment to fight that Roosevelt had been urging for months.

Luck


Great presidents have come to their standing not simply by vision, pragmatism, charisma, trust, and consensus building, but also by lucky circumstances that favored their goals. The conditions surrounding the administrations of the nation’s most highly regarded presidents have been uniformly favorable to getting significant things done. No one should put too much stock in circumstances, however. America’s most accomplished presidents have been their own best ally in achieving their high standing. Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, for example, both led the country during periods when there was economic stability and broad national support for social reform. Yet Theodore Roosevelt is remembered as at least a near great president, and Taft as essentially a failed chief. The contrast between Hoover’s lackluster record and Franklin Roosevelt’s spectacular success in dealing with the Great Depression underscores the point.


Even if it is true that all great American presidents have possessed these key traits—activism, vision, pragmatism, charisma, consensus building, credibility—these qualities cannot be simply wished into being. There is no substitute for presidential intuition or innate savvy as a foundation for tackling the world's most challenging job.


About the author: Professor Robert Dallek earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Illinois and his master of arts and doctorate in history from Columbia University in New York City. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times (1961-73) and Hail to the Chief: The Making and Unmaking of American Presidents.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GentleMAN

Be a true gentleman. Those little acts really counts.

SOMETHING


I dont wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone. -Javan

Monday, July 12, 2010

NOTHING MATTERS

If you have with you Love, then nothing elses really matters.

Make HER smilE

Make her smile. Laugh with her. Sense of humor is becoming one of the most looked for characteristics nowadays by women.

..., THAN ...

Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all. -St. Augustine

WISEST POLICY


Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it. -Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, July 10, 2010

DeliCIOUS

Eat the food she has prepared. Say its the most delicious dish youve ever come to taste.

LeT her MISS U


Spend some time away. Let her miss you once in a while... but not too much that shell learn how to live without you.

SoLo TiMe

See to it that youre having enough solo time together, away from other friends or family.

LatE


Dont dare to be late on your dates!

Thursday, July 1, 2010