Well, the election is coming up soon, and I am not here to tell you who to vote for. That is totally for you to decide, and please be assured that whichever way you vote, we will always be accepting towards you without change.
I will just like to mention some of my observations, and as much as possible, not to put one candidate above another. Though in the history of elections there have always been political cartoons, opinions and such, smear campaign in the media is actually rather recent. It really began with the Bush-Dukakis elections in which accusations of Dukakis' involvement in an terrible event were exaggerated appears. This was the first time even to use the terms liberal and conservative in the way we use them today. This type of campaign continued through the following elections, even in the Bush-Clinton election, when the smear came from Bush's own party. Before this message becomes political, let me get to the actual point.
This year, there has been many negative campaign ads. Looking at all of this neutrally, all candidates have their good points. All the candidates have their bad. The same bad points have been in the campaign for a long time. What I wish to hear is actually what each candidate will do themselves. Which they actually do say outside of their ads, but their ads are too busy criticizing the other.
I compare this to my students in school once again. Sometimes students bring contraband to school. I am obligated to take it away, and return it to the students at the end of the day. When I do return them, the item is usually not a life-threatening item, but I do ask them if they should be bringing it to school. Usually, they'll say no, but I'll tell them that I am not trying to punish them, but sometimes, we may leave it out, and someone takes it without their knowledge, so it is really for their protection. If they bring it, I'm okay with it, just don't take it out of their bags, it is a distraction for their own learning.
Once in a while I have a student that will answer, "but so-and-so also took it out in class..." So to them I say, thank you for telling me, now I will be more aware and take theirs away too. And they look at me surprised, like I was supposed to tell them, "oh if so-and-so does it, then you're okay."
I try to teach the students that if they need to get a job, they need to present their assets, their good points, so that the employers would want to hire them. It wouldn't be to their benefit to go to a job interview, and upon being asked, "why should we hire you?" and the only thing you have practiced is to bring up bad points of others to make yourself look good.
I guess in this world, it is one way to be successful, but as a person, I still would rather see your good points. Everyone does have their bad points, everyone.
The Second-Shinbashira often credited for saying to know what Tenrikyo is, just look at me.
Many people often state that they are unable to say this phrase themselves, because they are not the Shinbashira. Essentially, because we are not perfect in following the teachings, they do not have the confidence of representing Tenrikyo.
For myself, I look at this phrase as, if people know I am Tenrikyo, they will use me as a measure of what that means. People will judge you, whether you want to or not. We cannot pretend to be who we are not. If we use other peoples bad points to make ourselves look better, that may work, but I believe, if you have just as many noticeable bad points, people will call you a hypocrite.
Because I know people will look at me to see what kind of people are Tenrikyo or what Tenrikyo is, I do my best. I am human and I make mistakes. But I honestly try to correct myself. I do not put up a false front, as much as possible. God the Parent states that in addition to the Dusts of the Mind, Falsehood and flattery are unwanted. Be honest in who you are. Accept who you are.
Let us practice our good habits that we naturally have, and create a better place, and take a step closer to the Joyous Life a world of peace and harmony.
Thank you for your time, be sure to vote this week. Oh, incidentally, our oven is still not repaired, so we have a few new items to our menu today.