(written following 9/11/2001)
We are now all warriors in the “Army of Faith in the Future”. The attack of the last week is more than an attack on buildings, a country and it’s people. It was an attack on the premise that freedom of individual destiny-creation can be allowed. It was an attack on our value system. It was an attack on the idea of our culture, (which is the greatest success story in history). In an historically brief 200 years, America has proven that every individual has the capability of creating a future of fulfillment and contribution to others. America has proven that freedom is a principle worth dying for. America has brought forth some of the greatest contributions that mankind has ever witnessed.
Those that attacked America last week are focused on a different view of what this country stands for, but their violence doesn’t make their viewpoint right. It has just caused us all to change the way we view life in America.
We can no longer operate from the perspective that our greatness protects us from our areas of ignorance or blindness.
Our culture has its flaws. It has its warts and problems and inconsistencies. Still, that being said, our culture stands for a unique premise that an individual has the intrinsic right to create any future that they desire, (so long as it doesn’t harm others). We are a unique system that allows freedom to an absurd degree (relative to any other country that has ever existed), in the belief that the individual can be trusted with his or her own values to guide them.
Further, that individual is presumed to have an intrinsic brilliance that may contribute to the collective whole if only allowed an environment within which it may be discovered, supported and amplified.
America stands as a unique cultural experiment providing that environment.
Those that attacked us don’t see it that way. They see an enemy. They envision a future that is different from the one that we envision.
The long-term solution to the sort of crisis that the world is now experiencing is to ultimately transform the concept of “us and them”. If such incredible pain is to be avoided in the future, (not just in this country, but in all countries), then the people of the world will have to eventually identify only “us”.
To get to such a future is not impossible. But, it will take three things:
1 – Leadership: (i.e. the ability to envision a future that others see their future in, not limited by the past)
2 – Courage: (not in the absence of fear, but in the face of it)
3 – Faith: (in ourselves, in God, in others, in the future)
What, you may wonder, can I do about starting down the road toward such a future?
Practice being the message…
Gandhi once said: “You must BE the change you wish to see in the world…”
So do that…
Be the way that you wish others to become…
The American economy is, in many ways, what is holding up the world’s economy. The businesses of America are critical institutions to the future of the world. Leaders of American businesses must be courageous expressions of faith in the future. They must refuse to be held hostage by fear. They must be resolved to rebuild, prevent tragedies like the last week’s from recurring, and proceed to the future with courage and vision.
They must share that approach with everyone they come into contact. They must honor the fallen through the integrity of their spirit and their resolve to continue to believe in the future, even when the temptation to give up is so easy…
So when you are at work, at home, with friends, driving your car, with your family, when you are alone;
Be a personification of Leadership, Courage, Faith,… and Love.
We may not be able to control the events of the coming weeks across this world. But, we can control the way we are Being in the world, and that is determined by the mindset from which we operate. Be diligent in guarding and growing your sense of personal empowerment, and help others do the same. Don’t give in to being victimized by circumstances, even if world events tempt you in that direction.
Every moment of every day we face a decision with every thought and its subsequent action: “Am I going to operate from a mindset of doubt or faith, fear or courage, helplessness or empowerment, comfort or commitment?”
Make the empowered choice…, every time.
Be a Leader in your life, and in the “Army of Faith in the Future”.
Haven’t you noticed that, amidst the collective psychological rubble of the last week, perfect strangers are looking each other in the eye and nodding with a sense of one-ness? Flags are flying, the air is periodically crisp and sweet, the Sun is cutting through the clouds, and life is shimmering. The news is droning out all of the reasons to give up and be fearful. Gather what’s necessary from that news, then turn it off and get into action to contribute to the rebuilding process wherever you can.
Perhaps the best antidote to personal depression is to do 2 things: Be in action and contribute to others. So do so…
As you and I have both had to do over the past week, fight the temptation to believe that we are victims of external circumstance and stand for your own ability to impact the future. Fight the depression and emptiness. Fight by jealously guarding against negative mindsets. Fight by choosing to see the other people as Love-worthy, even when you might be afraid…
So go do it.
As Courageously as you can.
Be a Leader.
Demonstrate Faith in others, in the future, in our future…
Leadership, Courage, and Faith. (And Love).
Personify these principles and spread them like ripples in a pond. And, if you do, and if I do; one day, we’ll not have to feel the way that we have over the past week ever again. And as Martin Luther King said, it is worth doing for the sake of the next generation and next after that, even if some of us won’t get there with them…
Peace, Love, & God Bless to You, Your Family, America, and those that have fallen on our behalf…
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