Times of India recently interviewed Sadhguru on the start of the Donald Trump Presidency. Here’s an extract.
Sadhguru: For many reasons, America has attained a leadership position in the world. Whatever America does, everyone wants to do. So, it is vital that America does the right thing. With its great political and military power the US has been continually fighting wars with someone or other; there is so much devastation. Trump has the power as leader to turn this around, because he has turned the political situation in America upside down. He must also use this to steer the world towards peace. So, he needs right guidance as well.
Q: Does Trump have an advantage since he has been a successful businessman?
Sadhguru: A good businessman makes deals that are sustainable and which bring benefit to both parties. As a businessman, he should understand this. In the last 200 years, from the dogmatic shackles of religious leadership we moved to the tyranny of military leadership, then to the confoundedness of democratic leadership. In the next 15-20 years, business leadership is going to be most prominent, globally.
Now a businessman-US President could be either a great opportunity or disaster. If he can turn things around, it would be an opportunity.
Religious leaders seldom agree on anything. Military leaders are used to confrontation. But Trump as businessman is talking about making deals. For example, he wants to be friends with Russia; maybe this will end the longstanding cold war, setting a positive example for the future of Indo-Pak and North-South Korea relations.
But deals have to also be sustainable. When deals are made, whether in the marketplace or in a marriage, both sides have their expectations, so some compromises may have to be made. I’ll advise Trump to approach the world from a completely new context – not to look at people as ‘my friends’ or ‘my enemies’ but as what’s good for you and me – what way can America contribute to other people and what can other people contribute to America? People have changed; transactions have changed.
There are many in the world who may not have equal opportunity to participate in the world of Trump’s deals. But the powers that be have to see the disadvantaged people as the most important investment for long term wellbeing of business – developing them into high-quality human resource, investing in their nourishment, health and education.
So Trump’s Presidency is a new business opportunity, not for himself, but for the people of America and others, worldwide.
Q: But Trump has said he will build walls to keep out people!
Sadhguru: Whatever his rhetoric may be, if you want to run a nation, you do need to have borders. It’s tough to deal with millions of unaccounted people in any country. I don’t think one should send them back but at least legitimize them.
Q: But when the Berlin Wall came down, was that not cause for celebration?
Sadhguru: By destroying the Berlin Wall, two nations became one. Will that happen with Mexico, USA and Canada? When there is huge economic disparity, people will flow. You can aspire for the “no nationhood” ideal only when human consciousness rises. Till that happens, borderless living is a dream. Otherwise, there are walls. It is not about branding immigrants as rapists or criminals, but you do need regulation and accountability. Otherwise it is difficult to have any control.
Q: What should be the attributes of Trump as US President?
Sadhguru: If Trump has to succeed as leader of the most powerful nation, he should be aware that with that great power comes great responsibility. The world has certain expectations of a US president; to serve the whole world. Right now the language out there is “America First”– but in terms of business, not in military terms. In business, both parties will have their own leverage. But in military, if you are powerful, I die. In Trump’s cabinet, there are several businessmen, so we can hope for good deals. So far, we are used to politicians using slick language but Trump talks straight; what you see is what you get.
Q: What other specific advice would you give Trump?
Sadhguru: Since Trump talks too soon and talks and tweets a lot, I would say now you should talk less, listen and do more. Then a lot of things will change. Maybe someone should take away his Twitter handle! He should look within. As leader, you need spirituality to gain inner experience. If you make 25 people with spiritual insight as heads of 25 nations, they will change the world. Give me 25 top leaders for five days and see what happens!