The Natural Way

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Terrorism... The sadness I feel is complicated. Memories come up of the Los Angeles riots which I experienced first hand as well as remembering what it was like to be part of a medical team caring for airline crash victims in the mid-seventies. An Eastern airliner went down in the Everglades and the hospital I worked at received the lion's share of injured people. There is more to this sadness, an element of deep recognition of the harm and pain an obsessed person or group can impose on others.

This attack on civilians, mothers, children, fathers, healers, clerks and people from all aspects of life was about power, plain and simple. At this writing, Bin Laden is suspected of masterminding this tragic event. He has all the money in the world, so it is not about being poor. His actions are not Islamic or of any other religion I know of, so it is not religious -- just shrouded in its cloak. Is it political? Yes, and the blood of politics is about power.

On the power level, we have a dilemma in response. If we strike back in retaliation, we perpetuate the terrorism. If we don't strike back, we will be perceived as weak and accorded disdain by those whose life energy is wasted in terrorism, perversely giving them reason to strike out again. Seems we must keep our resolve, let whomever it is know in a clear manner there will be consequences (just like an acting out teenager), provide the consequence and then do everything in our power to protect ourselves. This includes doing what can be done to change the situation which brews the stew of terrorism.

The terrorist leaders cannot be effective without a following. They need good-minded folks who temporarily fall prey to their greed. If this is Bin Laden behind this cowardly act, then he has civilians, mothers, fathers, children, healers, clerks and people from aspects of life around him, too. These are the salt of the earth folk who we need to influence and set our prayers for.

We also need to look at the terrorist elements within ourselves. The desire for revenge and retaliation is part of this. Another part shows up in the gouging of our brothers and sisters by raising prices on gasoline, batteries, food etc. Have you noticed the price increases? This reaction to terrorism is part of the terrorist cycle - it reduces your freedom and harms your community. I saw too much of this in Los Angeles. We can do better.

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