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Resources to Help Find the Path Towards Peace, Healing and Spiritual Growth

This set of resources was initially created as a source for learning about the September 11 tragedy and aftermath in the United States, and it has developed to become a resource for dealing with a variety of tragic events, crises, and trauma. Mentors, coaches, and peer assistants are in a unique position to assist themselves and others, not with any magic formula or secret of living, but through a willingness to deeply explore feelings, share and solicit opinions, and hold hands.

The resources provided here have been sent by friends of staffers at Peer Resources. We forward them on to our visitors and members and will continue to update them.

Index to resources you will find here:

  • Resources to Help Children and Adolescents Cope with Tragedy and Grief (View)
  • Resources for Employee Assistance Professionals (View)
  • Make a Financial or Blood Donation (View)
  • Can't Cry Hard Enough Graphic tribute and song to honor the victims of September 11 (View)
  • Definitely Not Business as Usual - An article by Barbara Moses (View)
  • What I've Learned - An essay by Rey Carr (View)
  • A Prayer - From Roxanne Howe-Murphy (View)
  • Compassion or Revenge - An essay by Gary Zukav (View)
  • The Deeper Wound - An essay by Deepak Chopra (View)
  • An Opportunity to Reach a Higher Moral Ground - A plea from Bill Riedler (View)
  • How to Start the Process of Rebuilding - An essay by Ron Rosenberg (View)
  • A Prayer - From James Vuocolo (View)
  • A Prayer for a New America - From Will Wilkinson (View)
  • Renouncing Revenge: A Call for Dialogue and Healing - An essay by Steve Michnick (View)
  • Healing the Pain - From Gerald Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione (View)
  • Some Thoughts - From Jean Houston (View)
  • Where Was God in All This? - From Marianne Williamson (View)
  • A Message About the Recent Tragedy - From Robert Fritz (View)
  • What Can We Do? - From Gary Baran (View)
  • Lessons Learned - By Philip Zimbardo (View)
  • Talk with God Today - by Neale Donald Walsch (View)
  • They Took My Sense of Humor - by Scott Adams (View)
  • Ten Choices We Get to Make in the Aftermath of Terror - by Louise Morganti Kaelin (View)
  • After Disaster: Activities to Help with Personal Recovery - by Paula Yardley Griffin (Download PDF)
  • An Alternative to Silence - by Paul Rogat Loeb (View)
  • Centering Quotes from Maya Angelou, Dan Millman, John Gardner, Grey Owl, Jimmy Carter, Mark Twain, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Moshe Dayan and Abraham Lincoln (View)

    On Talking with Students About School Shootings

    Sam Diener, of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions in Worcester MA, created these talking points to assist educators in speaking with students about the shooting in a Chardon, Ohio high school on February 27, 2012. Since the pionts apply to many situations where violence occurs in our schools we wanted to pass them on to our web visitors. Richard Cohen, the founder and director of School Mediation Associates edited them with permission and asked that they be distributed more widely as a way of helping educators and parents assist students to more successfully deal with the aftermath of these unfortunate incidents.

    These 10 talking points are not meant to be read to students word for word. Tailor your approach to your students' ages and follow their lead. In general, the younger the student, the less information they will need and want. These are merely "jumping off" points for discussion in your class.

    1) Why did it happen?
    We don't have all the answers. We probably never will. Based upon the confusion and panic that were created by school shootings in the past, much of the early reporting may later turn out to be misleading or untrue. But even without knowing all the facts or being able to fully understand why the perpetrator did it, we can feel empathy for the victims (the students who died) and survivors, consider the issues raised and the societal conditions that promote and/or prevent such crimes, and evaluate how we can get involved to help people.

    2) This topic is scary.
    Some students will want to talk about it, while others might be angry when talking about it or might shut down. It is important to give each other space to express our fears, and to affirm that these events are frightening. I believe it's important to demonstrate that we hear students' points of view, regardless of whether we feel differently. It's also essential that we repeat the reasons we believe it is worth caring about. Some students might be justifiably angry that coverage of shootings in their community, particularly in communities of color, don't get nearly as much coverage as when shootings happen in mostly white communities. Sometimes, callous statements arise partially out of a feeling of powerlessness when hearing about crimes, and/or a feeling of powerlessness in aspects of one's own life.

    3) Violence is not a joke, a game, or entertainment; violence truly hurts.
    The five students who were shot in this most recent tragedy, and the student who shot them, are real people with families and friends who loved and love them. All those who witnessed the shootings at the school were traumatized. Even those of us who saw the images of the wounded on television, or even read about it later, might feel traumatized, in a different sense, as well. A nationally (and globally) televised crime like this can victimize everyone who hears about it by scaring us almost as if we had been there. The fear and powerlessness that mainstream media coverage can induce is also part of the problem. It's editoral preference for that which shocks (and therefore engages) us can skew our perceptions and reinforce our sense of powerlessness.

    4) Fear, redux.
    Could it happen here? These is a tricky question to answer. One impulse is to simply voice reassurance, while another is to reinforce how deadly serious hatred, bullying, discrimination, social ostracism, violence, and guns really are. I believe it's important to do both.

    On the one hand, it is essential to remember that there are some 15,000 school districts in the U.S., and all the schools in all those districts except for Chardon High ended the school day on Monday without any murders. On the other, violence is a very serious national problem. The Center for Disease Control reports that "in 2009, a total of 650,843 young people aged 10-24 years were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries sustained from assaults." Violence isn't something that just happens. People decide to commit violent acts, and people can join together to decide to help prevent them. Many students, staff, faculty, administrators, family, and community leaders are all working to help prevent violence from escalating, and each of us can help create a peaceful school and community.

    5) Harassment and bullying are deadly serious.
    T. J. Lane (the student accused of the shootings) is responsible for his own actions, no matter how much he was or wasn't harassed or bullied. Early news reports claim that students said that the suspected student was withdrawn, socially isolated, and bullied. Everyone in the building has a right to a safe environment free of harassment and bullying. If you're being harassed or bullied and you've already tried telling them to stop, or you're scared to tell them to stop, it is important to tell an adult so we can intervene to help stop it.

    6) Threats, even "joking" threats, need to be taken seriously.
    The Daily Beast is reporting that the alleged shooter left a rambling message on his Facebook page last December which concluded with a threat to kill everyone. If we know of threats, or know of the presence of weapons in school, it is our responsibility to take these dangers seriously and report them. Adults in all schools are dedicated to swiftly and decisively responding if they receive reports of weapons or threats.

    7) Guns increase danger.
    The presence of firearms in the home greatly increases the risk of death or injury for all members of the household. At a minimum, any gun should have child-proof safety locks, and should be kept in a securely locked place. Ammunition should also be secured in a locked place separate from the gun.

    8) Some aspects of our culture promote and glorify violence.
    Are the real, painful consequences of violence ever portrayed on Saturday morning cartoons? On action-hero TV shows and movies? In most video games? In gun-safety programs? In boxing? In professional "wrestling"? In most of our history textbooks? In military recruiting ads' depictions of wars? In videos of "smart" bombs hitting targets in Iraq or Afghanistan?

    9) We aren't powerless.
    We can help prevent violence. We can be allies of the people of Chardon by working to prevent violence here at our school, in our homes, in our communities, across the country, and around the world. When we hear someone getting picked on, we can speak up, saying, something like, "Hey, I think that's mean. Don't go there." When we're angry, we can calm down before we act. We can help each other learn and use methods for resolving conflicts and de-escalating fights. We can build healthier relationships in our own lives, offer support to those who are being abused, and gently and strongly challenge those who are being abusive. We can work to transform our society's unjust structures, institutions, laws and cultural norms through organizing collective action. .

    10) What ideas do your students have?
    You might ask them to share their ideas with President Obama, Congress, your state legislature, school principal, and each other. The only good that can come out of a crime like this is to help motivate those of us who witness it, even via the media, to talk among ourselves and work together to stop the violence and increase the peace.

    Feel free to share this information with others.

    We'll Miss You Michael

    We mourn the passing of Michael Jackson. Let me state my bias straight out, because the rest of what I want to say will not make many people happy. He was one of the greatest performers of all-time. His creativity through his singing and dancing was spectacular. I enjoyed his videos, and Thriller was pure genius and probably the most entertaining short movie ever made.

    He was eccentric, a troubled soul, with demons constantly approaching the gates of his ability to be a man. But what was inside him was nothing compared to the monsters on the outside.

    The media, the paparazzi, the interviewers, and the fans killed Michael Jackson.

    It was impossible for him to go anywhere and have any semblance of a decent life without being hounded by well-wishers, autograph hounds, screaming fans, aggressive photographers, and reporters trying to outdo each other with stupid questions.

    He was being continuously judged and ridiculed without any semblance of understanding. From enabling staff to adoring fans, to fawning interviewers (you know who you are Larry and Barbara), MJ couldn't expect to do anything that most of us find pleasure doing: having coffee with friends, playing with kids at the beach, shopping for something special for a birthday, or being with our families for a holiday or special occasion.

    No one would provide him with privacy. He had to hire staff just to insulate him from the public, the press, and even people he wanted to have as friends. Everyone who had direct contact with him saw and contributed to his deterioration. He was oppressed by all these forces. They impacted his health, his well-being, and his spirit. They couldn't kill his creativity but they took away his urge to continue. He could no longer thrive. He started to wither away.

    Yes, it was you fans who did this to him. Leaving your flowers at every place he stepped. Banging on his limo to get his attention. Mobbing him at every outing. His heart finally gave out. He fought a courageous but losing battle. He didn't want to be "against' you, but you were relentless in your pursuit of him during every moment of his short life. Just as you are now during every moment after his tragic death.

    Is there anyone who knew him who isn't willing to speak out about him on TV? Why does everyone think they have some special insight into MJ now that he's dead. What's the matter with all of you. Can't you just say: "He was my friend. I'm grieving; leave me alone. Respect my privacy."

    The press is on a broadcast frenzy. They are printing and showing every possible piece of misinformation, gossip, rumour and unsubstantiated claim as if it were reputable journalism. Even normally reliable news sources are including quotes or statements allegedly attributed to people associated with MJ that are either blatant lies, fabrications, or complete misinformation.

    You should all be ashamed. You should be attending to your own reflection on what his death sparks inside you. Sadness, grace, peace, sorrow, regret, responsibility. Confess your role. Figure out what you've learned from this and prevent it from happening again to someone else. Stop screaming at celebrities. Stop taking their photographs when they are not doing what it is that brought them fame. Stop judging their behavior. Stop placing them on a pedestal.

    Forgive yourself for contributing to MJ's death, but don't forget the role you played and how you're going to never again let this happen.

    A Yearning for Long Lost Respect
    I am lost. I am wandering. I want to go home.
    Oh, America, why have you forsaken your promise to me?
    Why have you alienated the oppressed people of the world?
    Officials claim victory where none exists.

    On this mournful day, filled with remembrance of tragedy and grief
    My tears flow from the voices of families left without faith
    We are plagued by leaders who substitute rhetoric for spirit
    Have our founders given up on us?

    New York, you phantom and phoney, stuffing tall buildings with money
    While down below crimes of violence continue unaffected by grief
    Voices argue about what should be done with the space of death
    The city continues its spiritual bankruptcy with celebrity and disrespect.

    Our learning disabled politicians limp towards war and demonize peace
    The milk remains sour; yet America leaves it in storage to try another day
    The lesson remains steadfastly simple:
    Open your heart and read the DNA of hope written by parents around the world.

    r.a.c - one year later.

    Dealing With Grief: 17 Deep Thoughts for Dark Times Compiled by Michael Josephson

    There are no magic potions or secret strategies to deal with grief but here is a selection of special quotations and poems that might provide some perspective, if not comfort.

    Sorrow makes us all children again—destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing.
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

    Time is a physician that heals every grief.
    ~ Diphilus ~

    Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.
    ~ Albert Schweitzer ~

    Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.
    ~ From The Wonder Years ~

    In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
    ~ Robert Frost ~

    If you're going through hell, keep going.~ Winston Churchill ~

    Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.
    ~ Cicero ~

    When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
    ~ Henri Nouwen ~

    Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.
    ~ Author Unknown ~

    Grief can't be shared. Everyone carries it alone. His own burden in his own way.
    ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~

    Life is sad once in a while / Making it hard to laugh and smile
    Everyday things suddenly remind you / Of memories of old, you thought you put behind you
    A picture here a story there / A glimpse of eyes a flash of hair
    Loved ones past take new form / Thinking you see them, false alarm
    You know they're gone but still can't help / That memory lapse during which you yelp
    But once again you realize the terrible truth /They're gone, not here, not nail nor tooth

    ~ Paisha Fellows ~

    For everything there is a season,
    And a time for every matter under heaven:
    A time to be born, and a time to die;
    A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
    A time to kill, and a time to heal;
    A time to break down, and a time to build up;
    A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
    A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
    A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
    A time to seek, and a time to lose;
    A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
    A time to tear, and a time to sew;
    A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    A time to love, and a time to hate,
    A time for war, and a time for peace.

    ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ~

    We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
    ~ Joseph Campbell ~

    Grief can awaken us to new values and new and deeper appreciations. Grief can cause us to reprioritize things in our lives, to recognize what's really important and put it first. Grief can heighten our gratitude as we cease taking the gifts life bestows on us for granted. Grief can give us the wisdom of being with death. Grief can make death the companion on our left who guides us and gives us advice. None of this growth makes the loss good and worthwhile, but it is the good that comes out of the bad.
    ~ Roger Bertschausen ~

    Grief and sadness knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger than common joys.
    ~ Alphonse de Lamartine ~

    It's so curious: one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses.
    ~ Colette ~

    Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.
    ~ C.S. Lewis ~


    HELPING CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS COPE WITH TRAGEDY AND GRIEF
  • The National Association of School Psychologists has compiled a set of valuable resources for professionals who work with children. The resources are divided into eight sections, and include links to other online resources, and those that deal with specific subjects, such as suicide, trauma, and natural disasters. The natural disaster section includes fact sheets on how to help children after a wildfire and in the aftermath of a tsunami. Moving On, the suicide section, contains materials on how to address teen suicide and preventive measures. The site is rounded out with a selection of crisis resources in Spanish.

  • Hot Line for Children and Teens - 1.866.602.2235 - This service has been created by three Toronto-based non-profit organizations to help young people deal with their fears and concerns arising from the terrorist attack in the United States. The line is accessible from both Canada and the US and operates from NOON to MIDNIGHT seven days a week.

  • Resiliency in the Face of Disaster and Terrorism: 10 Things to Do to Survive by V. Alex Kehayan and Joseph C. Nappoli (Personhood Press, 2005). This book a practical and handy quick-reference guide to dealing with a wide variety of disasters. The authors urge us to: 1) determine the types and frequencies of the disasters that might happen, especially in your community; 2) learn what to expect when a disaster strikes; 3) prevent disasters or lessen their impact; 4) prepare for disasters; 5) learn the human reactions to disaster; 6) decide when you need to seek help; 7) find out where to get help; 8) help yourself; 9) help others; and 10) convince yourself that doing the first nine things are essential for your survival and the survival of others. Additional disruptions specific to groups with special needs (children, physically disabled, people with serious mental illness, and seniors) are identified. (Available from Amazon.com

  • Helping Children Cope: Resources for Talking About Tragedy - www.educationworld.com - An excellent series of resources for grade levels K-12 that can be used by school-based peer programs to discuss the tragedies. This web page presents an extensive array of resources for parents and teachers concerned with dealing with disasters. There are also a variety of activities and lesson plans available to help explain the course of the events to your students.

  • Strategies for Parents and Teachers - www.ces.ncsu.edu During disasters, many families suffer from the onset of sudden stress. Severe stress can disrupt functioning. Informed intervention can help families and children cope with this stress in a healthy, effective manner.

  • Helping Children Cope with Traumatic Events - www.aboutourkids.org - AboutOurKids.org offers resources to help parents, teachers and mental health professionals explain war and terrorism to children, how to help them cope, and signs of trauma-related stress.

  • All Kids Grieve - www.allkidsgrieve.org - All kids experience loss. The key is to help them channel their grief into personal growth, not violence or destructive behavior. AllKidsGrieve.org offers books, classroom strategies and information on how to start support groups for kids so that they grow up learning how to handle life's ups and downs.

  • Understanding Trauma's Impact on Children - Prepared by a Life Insurance specialist to help people learn about the impact of trauma, the differences between how adults and children respond, that dangers that can materialize if left untreated or unnoticed, the options available for support or treatment, and a list of additional excellent resources for more information. The page is non-commercial and informative, and visitors can access quotes for life insurance. View Page.

    (Return to Resource Index)


  • HELPING EMPLOYEES COPE WITH TRAGEDY AND GRIEF
    (Thanks to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association for compiling this list of resources to help workers deal with these tragic and unprecedented events):


  • The Employee Assistance Professionals Association headquarters Web site www.eap-association.org contains valuable information including a clearinghouse for the receipt, coordination, and distribution of information and resources needed by employees, employers, and employee assistance professionals; a registry of employee assistance providers; a pool of employee assistance professionals; and information resources on critical incident stress and grief, and other relevant resources for both Canadian and American workers.

    Employee Assistance Professionals Association, Inc.
    2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 500
    Arlington, VA 22201
    Phone: 703-387-1000 Fax: 703-522-4585
    Email: info@eap-association.org

  • Ask an Expert About Bereavement and Grief - Workforce.com - Barbara Rubel, a Certified Pastoral Bereavement Counselor through the Archdiocese of New York,.has been answering and can continue to answer questions about how people handle sudden loss, as well as about suicide prevention, burnout prevention, crisis management and related topics. (Registration is required, but free.)

    (Return to Resource Index)


  • COMPASSION OR REVENGE by Gary Zukav, author of The Heart of the Soul

    The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are occasions of great significance. They are opportunities for you to feel inside, to find those parts of yourself that are in fear, and to make the decision to move forward in your life without fear. That is the challenge for each individual on this planet today. The pursuit of external power - the ability to manipulate and control - creates only violence and destruction. The painful events in New York and Washington are living examples of that reality.

    The causal chain that created this violence is one in which compassion and wisdom are absent. Are wisdom and compassion present in you as you watch the television, and read the papers? It is important to realize that you do not know all that came to conclusion, or into karmic balance, as a result of these events. Because you are not able to know all that can be known about them, you are not in a position to judge them.

    When you are able to look at the events of the Earth School from this perspective, you will see clearly the central importance of the role that you play in it. That role is this: It is for you to decide what you will contribute to this world. Many will be asking your opinion of these events. Each question is an opportunity for you to contribute to the love that is in the world or to the fear that is in the world. This is the same opportunity that presents itself to you at each moment.

    If you hate those who hate, you become like them. You add to the violence and the destructive energy that now fills our world. As you make the decision to see with clarity and compassion, you will see that those who committed these acts of violence were in extreme pain themselves, and that they were fueled by the violent parts of ourselves - the parts that judge without mercy, strike in anger, and rejoice in the suffering of others. They were our proxy representatives. If you can look with compassion upon those who have suffered and those who have committed acts of cruelty alike, then you will see that all are suffering. The remedy for suffering is not to inflict more suffering.

    This is an opportunity for a massive expression of compassion. It is also an opportunity for a massive expression of revenge. Which world do you intend to live in -- a world of revenge or a world of compassion?

    I hope that these thoughts will be helpful to you.

    Love,

    Gary Zukav

    (Return to Resource Index)

    " A hero is one who does what he can."

    Romain Rolland (1866 - 1944)
    French novelist, dramatist, essayist
    1915 Nobel Laureate for Literature


    MAKE A FINANCIAL OR BLOOD CONTRIBUTION

    To make a financial contribution to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund, call 1-800- HELP-NOW or visit: www.redcross.org. For information on making a blood donation, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or contact your local blood service organization.

    In Canada you can make a tax-deductible donation to the Canadian Red Cross. To make a donation by phone using your credit card, please call the Canadian Red Cross office in your area, or call toll free 1-800-418-1111. To make a donation by mail send a cheque or money order to your local Red Cross office or mail to: Canadian Red Cross, National Office, 170 Metcalfe St., Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2P2.

    To donate to other disaster relief organizations, contact Canadahelps

    To give blood in Canada you must contact Canadian Blood Services (not the Red Cross). For donor clinic times and locations, eligibility information, or to make an appointment to give blood, call 1 888 236-6283.

    (Return to Resource Index)


    A PRAYER FROM DR. ROXANNE HOWE-MURPHY
    Thanks to Pamela Richarde for sending this prayer.

    We ask that those whose lives have been forever altered by the violence and tragedy of today and of all the yesterdays, be given and be able to receive the strength, support and faith to sustain them. May they not feel alone, but know that their true connection to their Souuce of Life is never severed.

    We ask that those who govern be open to higher levels of awareness, wisdom, compassion, and strength to lead in this new world. May they (and we) seek new solutions--solutions that emanate from a different level of awareness than the one that has led to today's horrors.

    And may each of us be called to remember once again who we truly are and what the purpose of our life here upon earth is. May we learn to put to rest whatever creates the war within us, and find compassion for ourselves, and all the souls of this world.

    (Return to Resource Index)


    AN OPPORTUNITY TO REACH A HIGHER MORAL GROUND by Bill Riedler, President, Global Relationship Centers, Inc
    Thanks to Sarah Baylow for sending this item.

    What We Should Do About It?

    Hopefully, the events of the day will be a wake-up-call. Today we witnessed a tragic attack that appears to have victimized thousands. First thought is that we are experiencing something that we do not deserve. However, I suggest we are experiencing the consequences of attempting to use force to solve conflicts. It clearly shows the fallacy in our thinking that we, as individuals, or as a nation, can use might to subdue those who oppose our thinking. We falsely believe we can use that same overwhelming power through a network of intelligence gathering to protect ourselves from retaliation from the people that we caused to hate us. I just heard the Mayor of New York say that this is an innocent unprovoked attack. To say that is a symptom that we have been closing our eyes and ears to the hatred that our use of force has been creating around the world.

    I suggest we use this horror as motivation to change our ways and stop using power as a substitute for love.

    As long as we feel that it is the behavior of other people that is the cause of our difficulties we will be tempted to pressure others and provoke them to revenge by making them feel powerless.

    This is our opportunity to act with a higher character. We are tempted to desire revenge and retaliation. That will only create more hatred. How does it make you feel when you see people from other countries expressing joy when seeing the United States experiencing hardship? It makes me ashamed.

    This is not an attack on FREEDOM. It is an attack on our use of power that has been used to insure ONLY OUR freedom. The world is too small for us to continue to use force to solve our conflicts. We must learn to have consideration for all.

    I hear important political representatives promising revenge. I suggest a different reply. Instead of spending millions of dollars on smart bombs I suggest we spend those dollars in acts of good will around the world in the countries that we have provoked to hate us. Allow the terrorists to know that we have heard their complaint and that they can and have had an effect on our behavior. They have already proven that they can affect us. But nothing will be resolved if they effect us to become more hateful. I suggest we show them that they have caused us to become more loving. Let's spend the dollars we would have spent on retaliation on rebuilding our reputation of being a loving nation. Doing this would not be a sign of weakness. It would be an act of exceptional love.

    I teach this method in our Loving Yourself and Others course. We teach individuals to do the Empathy Exercise and it profoundly solves their interpersonal conflicts. I doubt that this is a popular view. This is where you can help. Help me get this message to the media and to our government officials so that this alternative can be considered when deciding what to do about this crisis.

    I would be very proud to be a citizen of a country that responded to an act of extreme hatred by announcing that we are unwilling to respond with an act of revenge because doing that would only add to the terror by making more people feel powerless. Instead we have decided to use the effort and resources we would have spent on revenge to do acts of love and assistance to countries we have previously offended.

    If you agree, would you help me publicize this alternative action?

    (Return to Resource Index)


    HOW TO START THE PROCESS OF REBUILDING by Ron Rosenberg, President, QualityTalk, Inc.

    Those of you who have been receiving our Eight Rings messages know that they are short and to the point. This one is a bit longer than usual, as there is so much that I want to say about the events that have occurred this week. I hope you find it meaningful and helpful.

    It has now been two days since the shocking and tragic events that have shaken our nation. I wish I could say that the initial shock and numbness have worn off, but they have not.

    Like you, I sat in front of the television all day Tuesday watching for the first time in our history an attack of this magnitude inflicted within the borders of our country.

    Like you, I watched the human tragedy of those affected personally by the destruction and devastation caused by these attacks.

    And, like you, I watched with outrage the images of crowds cheering and dancing in the streets in the Middle East, celebrating this "victory" over the "filthy Americans" – all the while wearing their Nike hats and T-shirts.

    The thought of the people responsible for this attack watching the results unfold on CNN on their large-screen TV absolutely made me sick.

    I grew up in New York City. I have family who live and work there. Fortunately, none of them were directly affected by the attack. By "directly," I mean personally injured or missing. But they were affected in other ways. My cousin works for a firm that occupied several floors in one of the towers. He watched from a building several blocks away as the plane hit the second tower. My sister's next-door neighbor worked on the 92nd floor of the second tower. His family hasn't heard from him since the attack. They have four children.

    My wife and I have been up late each night in long discussions, wondering how this could happen, trying to understand the motivation of those responsible, and speculating on what the future holds. The effects of an incident like this do not fade quickly. The images will remain with us forever.

    And yet, we must begin the process of rebuilding. This was not just an attack on three buildings; it was an attack on our spirit as individuals, as a society, and as a collective human race.

    The intent of this attack was to strike fear into our hearts and bring the country to a grinding halt. We must not allow that to happen. We must each take definitive actions to affirm our faith in human nature and in the strength of the American people.

    The response of the United States government will become clear in the days and weeks ahead. My actual involvement in these decisions will be nonexistent. However, I have identified several areas where I can have some personal impact.

    First and foremost, my wife and I plan to identify an appropriate relief agency assisting in the recovery efforts and a make a donation to aid the families of the unfortunate victims. In addition, we will contribute in other small ways to show our support.

    We purchased several American flags today that we have displayed on our home to express our unity with Americans all across the country and of all national origins. We will discuss with our children the meaning of the flag and what The Pledge of Allegiance really stands for. And we will teach them that with very few exceptions, America is a land of immigrants who came to this country so that they could worship and live as free individuals.

    Unfortunately, in parts of our country there have been reports of harassment and death threats being made towards United States citizens of Arab decent. While fear and caution are reasonable responses to an assault of this nature, paranoia and vigilantism are not. These crimes were committed by a small group of extremists who represent neither the mainstream Arab community nor the Islamic religion. We should remember that in World War II, thousands of Japanese-Americans were forced to sell their homes and businesses and were placed in internment camps for the duration of the war. And their only "crime" was being of Japanese ancestry.

    In Raleigh there is a Lebanese bakery, which has been in business for many years and has the most incredible Middle-Eastern food and desserts. I plan to go there this weekend and buy some humus, taboulli, and pita bread. It's a small gesture, but I would hate to think that an ignorant and vengeful public could hurt these fine people or their business in any way.

    Finally, and most importantly, I will be reconfirming my upcoming flights and buying additional airplane tickets today. Some of these are for trips that are still several months in the future. Some of these are for trips overseas. I am doing this for several reasons.

    First, the natural reaction to an attack based on hijacked commercial airliners would be to avoid air travel altogether. This would have a crippling effect on the airline industry. Raleigh-based Midway airlines, which only recently filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, announced yesterday that it would cease operations completely, that there would be no way it could successfully reorganize with the anticipated downturn in air travel caused by these incidents. Air travel is an integral part of my job, and I want to do what I can to help my primary carrier, American Airlines, continue to function effectively in spite of the losses it has incurred in equipment, but more importantly in human life.

    My main reason for booking these flights is that, to the extent possible, I think it is essential that we as a nation demonstrate that we can and will rebound from these unprecedented events.

    Yes, I am still in a state of shock. Yes, I'm just a bit nervous about flying across the Atlantic. And yes, I am somewhat wary about what the future will bring. But I refuse to let this egregious assault impact my life any more than absolutely necessary.

    As you begin to dig yourself out emotionally from the events of the past week, I ask you to think about something tangible that you can do to help in the recovery of the nation. It can be something to help the victims, like sending letters of support or financial assistance; something in your business that helps maintain a strong economy; or, if you live in one of the affected areas, something more hands-on, like volunteering in a hospital or on a search-and-rescue team.

    If you like, please send me an e-mail and let me know what you have decided to do. I will collect these and send them to you to share all the outstanding efforts people are making to move ahead in this time of grief and uncertainty.

    I am confident that we will ultimately emerge from this tragedy as a stronger nation and a stronger people. Perhaps we can take this opportunity to look at things in their proper perspective and put aside petty differences in opinion, and major differences in belief systems, to draw together and begin to realize the full potential we have on this Earth to do great things.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Ron Rosenberg, CSP
    President, QualityTalk, Inc.
    Author of Breaking Out of the Change Trap
    EightRings@qualitytalk.com
    http://www.qualitytalk.com
    Phone: 919-847-0662, 800-260-0662
    Fax: 919-847-9041

    (Return to Resource Index)


    THE DEEPER WOUND by Deepak Chopra, author of How to Know God
    Thanks to Lianne Smithaniuk for forwarding this special message.

    As fate would have it, I was leaving New York on a jet flight that took off 45 minutes before the unthinkable happened. By the time we landed in Detroit, chaos had broken out. When I grasped the fact that American security had broken down so tragically, I couldn't respond at first. My wife and son were also in the air on separate flights, one to Los Angeles, one to San Diego. My body went absolutely rigid with fear. All I could think about was their safety, and it took several hours before I found out that their flights had been diverted and both were safe.

    Strangely, when the good news came, my body still felt that it had been hit by a truck. Of its own accord it seemed to feel a far greater trauma that reached out to the thousands who would not survive and the tens of thousands who would survive only to live through months and years of hell. And I asked myself, Why didn't I feel this way last week? Why didn't my body go stiff during the bombing of Iraq or Bosnia? Around the world my horror and worry are experienced every day. Mothers weep over horrendous loss, civilians are bombed mercilessly, refugees are ripped from any sense of home or homeland. Why did I not feel their anguish enough to call a halt to it?

    As we hear the calls for tightened American security and a fierce military response to terrorism, it is obvious that none of us has any answers. However, we feel compelled to ask some questions.

    Everything has a cause, so we have to ask, What was the root cause of this evil? We must find out not superficially but at the deepest level. There is no doubt that such evil is alive all around the world and is even celebrated. Does this evil grow from the suffering and anguish felt by people we don't know and therefore ignore? Have they lived in this condition for a long time?

    One assumes that whoever did this attack feels implacable hatred for America. Why were we selected to be the focus of suffering around the world? All this hatred and anguish seems to have religion at its basis. Isn't something terribly wrong when jihads and wars develop in the name of God? Isn't God invoked with hatred in Ireland, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, and even among the intolerant sects of America?

    Can any military response make the slightest difference in the underlying cause? Is there not a deep wound at the heart of humanity?

    If there is a deep wound, doesn't it affect everyone?

    When generations of suffering respond with bombs, suicidal attacks, and biological warfare, who first developed these weapons? Who sells them? Who gave birth to the satanic technologies now being turned against us? If all of us are wounded, will revenge work? Will punishment in any form toward anyone solve the wound or aggravate it? Will an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and limb for a limb, leave us all blind, toothless and crippled?

    Tribal warfare has been going on for two thousand years and has now been magnified globally. Can tribal warfare be brought to an end? Is patriotism and nationalism even relevant anymore, or is this another form of tribalism? What are you and I as persons going to do about what is happening? Can we afford to let the deeper wound fester any longer?

    Everyone is calling this an attack on America, but is it not a rift in our collective soul? Isn't this an attack on civilization from without that is also from within?

    When we have secured our safety once more and cared for the wounded, after the period of shock and mourning is over, it will be time for soul searching. I only hope that these questions are confronted with the deepest spiritual intent. None of us will feel safe again behind the shield of military might and stockpiled arsenals. There can be no safety until the root cause is faced. In this moment of shock I don't think anyone of us has the answers. It is imperative that we pray and offer solace and help to each other. But if you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.

    Love,

    Deepak

    (Return to Resource Index)


    A PRAYER from James S. Vuocolo
    Thanks to a source who wished to remain anonymous for forwarding this special message.

    Almighty and Gracious God, before whom all generations rise up and pass away; we are dismayed and perplexed by the unfolding events far and near that are beyond our control, and even beyond our comprehension. We feel ignorant and powerless in the face of such devastations, and we are consumed by self-doubt and despair.

    Amid a flood a conflicting emotions, tears, sadness, and grief, and in the numbness of the moment, we pause to pray for peace within our own nation and among the world's nations. Inspire our quest for national unity with an equal measure of respect for human diversity. May those who govern people everywhere pause remember that the primary function of government is to provide for the security and well-being of all people. May the peace we are praying for be marked by a commitment to justice and compassion for all the world's people.

    Author of Life, We pray for all of our sisters and brothers whose nations are in the throes of violent change. Empower us to do what we can to translate compassion into action, and show us that, with your assistance and care, we can always do more than we believe possible to overcome our fears and help bring peace to our hearts and to our generation. Amen.

    (Return to Resource Index)


    WHAT I'VE LEARNED by Rey Carr, CEO, Peer Systems Consulting Group, Incorporated

    September 11, 2001 will always remain pinned to my heart. In my confused and bewildered state, I searched for something to help me cope with the death and destruction I saw, the pain and agony I felt, the fear and anger I heard, and the nausea and revulsion I experienced.

    One way I tried to manage was to write down what I have learned as a result of this terrible tragedy.

    I learned to say I love you and care for you much more often to those who surround me because I do not know for certain when I might see them again.

    I learned how little I know about Muslims and their beliefs.

    I learned that by holding a candlelight vigil in my own neighbourhood, I was able to facilitate a true sense of neighbours.

    I learned how frightened I am of US foreign policy and how little I know about how that policy is actually put into practice.

    I learned that I can love my country and still not agree with all its policies.

    I learned that the primary function of all governments is to ensure the safety and well-being of all its people.

    I learned that part of me regrets living this long that I actually saw the images of such extensive destruction and death.

    I learned that my experience with Viet Nam, which I had hoped would never again happen, might now happen for my children.

    I learned that the most devastating event in my adult life, the assassination of my mentor John Fitzgerald Kennedy was not going to be the only image I would carry with me the rest of my life.

    I learned that openly crying in front of my friends and family also brought forth their tears, fears and feelings of helplessness.

    I learned why Canadian youth, travelling in other countries, typically sew symbols of Canada on their backpacks.

    I learned that we have lost our way in reducing hatred and that our leaders are on the same forgotten path.

    I learned that the war on terrorism has been just as futile as the war on drugs.

    I learned how easily I am manipulated by the press and media and how difficult it has been without the Internet to gain access to alternative sources.

    I learned how grateful I am to others who treasure their spirit and soul and look to these sources for understanding and inspiration.

    I learned how thankful I am that my son and brother who are both commercial pilots for major air carriers are safe and have reassured me of their future safety.

    I learned that I am even more scared to fly than ever before.

    I learned that when I am faced with events beyond my comprehension and control and flooded with such pain, grief and anguish, I no longer want to retaliate or seek revenge.

    I learned that I am more committed to compassion and justice than ever before.

    I learned that my fear and despair could be somewhat relieved by talking and listening to others, by keeping busy, by donating blood, by lighting candles, by not watching CNN continuously replaying images of death, and by continuing to search for my friends and relatives in New York.

    These are a few of the lessons I have learned. I'd be glad to learn about what other trainers have learned.

    (Return to Resource Index)


    A PRAYER FOR A NEW AMERICA by Will Wilkinson

    PRAYER FOR A NEW AMERICA

    Out of the ashes of hatred, let a new America be born.
    We pray for the dead and dying,
    for those who have destroyed them,
    and for those who would seek now to destroy in return.
    Vengeance has never brought peace.

    Let the history of war end in me.
    Now, in the face of unthinkable horror,
    our hearts heavy with sorrow or inflamed with rage,
    let us choose a different path.
    Not because we are weak, but because we are incredibly strong,
    strong enough to do what has not been done before:
    to forgive those who have trespassed against us.

    Wherever there has been hatred, let there now be love,
    flowing from even the most secret corners of our hearts
    to the furthest corners of this world.

    We are peacemakers.
    And this is the New America.

    (Return to Resource Index)

    Definitely Not Business as Usual by Dr. Barbara Moses, author of Career Intelligence: The 12 New Rules for Work and Life Success
    This article originally appeared in the September 17, 2001 edition of the Globe and Mail.

    Definitely Not Business as Usual

    There's a pall hanging over workplaces across the country in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks on the United States. People are still going about their daily business, and it might seem like "business as usual." But many are just going through the motions in an effort to preserve some sense of normalcy.

    Work has become a way of managing the tremendous anxiety we're all experiencing about the events unfolding before us. Doing, acting, and achieving are ways of both distracting ourselves and regaining a sense of control over our lives in the face of profound uncertainty. "When I stop to think I feel helpless," one woman said. "Maybe we're going into World War Three. But at least I have control over my work."

    At the same time, there's been a change in the complexion of work relationships, whether between vendors and suppliers or bosses and subordinates or between colleagues. Typical was a recent conversation with a business associate. "How are you?" I asked. Instead of getting the usual "I'm so busy, things are crazy around here," what she said was "I'm like everyone else . . . I don't know what to say to my kids, and my husband is insisting on flying to Europe tonight on business. Everyone is sad around here, and I'm reeling."

    I don't know this woman very well. But previously I've experienced her as cool and professional with a capital P -- task-focused, waving the corporate flag, impersonal. This day, however, she came across as a complete -- and deeply shaken -- human being, rather than her usual corporate persona.

    Many report similar experiences. One client was at a leadership training course with 20 colleagues from across North America, most of whom she did not know. An hour into the meeting, the news of the attack came in. "Everyone stopped their normal jocularity, and I got to know these people in a way that was deeper and more open than any collegial relationship I've ever had," she said.

    People talk about a new intimacy created by an overwhelming shared experience. Co-workers become, however briefly, like family. Gripped by an intense existential terror, unable to explain something that we can't really understand or get our heads around, we reach out to each other to make a human connection, to somehow reassure ourselves that life will go on.

    Of course, it's not a non-stop love-fest, as people cope with their fears in different ways. The same person may be caring and solicitous at one moment, edgy and angry the next. As Donna, a vice-president of human resources, commented: "My management team is a high-performing group of people who are normally very supportive of each other. We had a meeting and they became completely dysfunctional. They went from sensitively asking questions about how colleagues' kids were coping to cutting each other off, interrupting, and jumping down each others' throats."

    People who work in organizations can at least use the normal rhythms of business to keep themselves focused. But the significant number of people running home-based businesses don't have the same props to manage their anxiety and reassure themselves that life will go on -- the casual conversation at the coffee cart, the meetings, the office friendships.

    Self-employed people I've talked to describe themselves as being depressed. Unable to use other people as a source of information and reassurance, they turn to TV, and find themselves watching for hour after hour.

    One independent contractor commented, "I know it makes no difference whether I hear that they've found a survivor at 12 o'clock or at 1 o'clock, but I haven't been able to stop watching. I pride myself on being extremely self-disciplined, but without external pressures I find it very difficult to focus. The phone and e-mail are my lifeline, because they force me to do something."

    A lingering trauma

    Do events of this magnitude make you rethink what's really important in your life? The answer is: not really, or anyway, not for long. Although people have been deeply affected by Tuesday's tragic events, life does go on.

    True, people went home and hugged their kids and called their parents. But they still get irritated by minor slights such as not getting full recognition for a project, or a curt word from their boss.

    And yet they still, however much it may embarrass them, worry about the future, whether it's the impact on their RRSPs or their job security in an ever more uncertain economy.

    Yet the trauma lingers on, leaving deep and lasting emotional scars. People are mourning not only actual events, but also the loss of security and predictability that guided their lives.

    Both individuals and organizations need to recognize this profound disjunction, this sense that things will never again be the same, which we cannot ultimately deny by acting, doing and achieving.

    (Return to Resource Index)


    Renouncing Revenge: A Call for Dialogue and Healing by Dr. Steve Michnick
    This item was originally sent to us by Bruce Elkin, President of What Matters Most and appears with the permission of the author.

    [NOTE: This essay borrows liberally and with permission from a previous one by a friend, Bill Blackburn, to whom I am indebted for helping to focus my thinking about the issues discussed herein. Thank you, Bill, for your inspiration and your words.]

    My heart is broken, but my spirit and reason remain strong.

    Last Tuesday, terrorists unleashed on the United States its greatest loss of life in a single day since the Civil War. Americans of all faiths, national backgrounds, and walks of life are justifiably shocked, saddened, and outraged at Tuesday’s events. I believe I felt the impact of Tuesday’s events as strongly as most Americans. I have a friend who flew from the west coast to New York on a red-eye flight Monday night, and, had his flight not been delayed two hours before takeoff, he would have been within a block of the World Trade Center towers when they were hit.

    And yet, these events only brought home to America the kind of terror that has been visited in recent years on the Chechens by the Russians, on the Rwandan Tutsis by their Hutu neighbors, and on the peoples of the former Yugoslavia by the Serbs, among others.

    As one who lost relatives in the Nazi death camps and, almost miraculously, had some survive them, I know how violence and cruelty can destroy human bodies and spirits. And yet, my surviving relatives never once that I know of called for retaliation against all Germans.

    The world is filled with suffering, and more suffering is apparently about to be unleashed by our national leaders in the name of all of us. I could easily slip into despair and hopelessness, and yet I must not allow myself to do so. Instead, I choose to speak out for sanity in the midst of irrationality, calm in the midst of chaos, and inspiration in the midst of despair and dread. I call for dialogue and healing among people who are tragically divided.

    On that fateful Tuesday, a woman interviewed on television said "It's unimaginable how someone could do such a thing! May God in heaven take out the perpetrators and obliterate them." A friend (of Bill Blackburn’s) pointed out that a "someone" who could do such a thing is there in her very statement.

    A man on a National Public Radio call-in show said that day, "As soon as we have fairly credible information as to those responsible, we should unleash a firestorm on their cities...." How many more deaths will "fairly credible information" justify? If the perpetrators were found to be his neighbors, would he destroy them?

    These are but two examples of people who could "do such a thing" or would ask God to do such a thing for them.

    In 1209, Pope Innocent III preached a crusade (now known as the Albigensian Crusade) against the Cathars, the first heresy to face the Catholic Church. At the siege of Beziers, the leader of the crusade asked his spiritual adviser how to tell the Cathars apart from the Catholics. His reply was "Burn them all. God will know his own." And, we think we've come a long way since the Middle Ages.

    We wonder how the Irish (Catholic or Protestant) can bomb innocent girls on their way to school and how Rwandans can butcher their neighbors. This is how: the belief that revenge is the only answer, that God is on our side, or that our national pride demands it.

    We must not lose ourselves in recrimination, but we must recognize our own part, individually and nationally, in the world's violence. We simply must awaken to our complicity and begin to break the chain of savagery.

    The United States is the largest arms supplier in the world. Last Monday, a prominent "opinion maker" called for increased action against Iraq, stating that we just had to accept the "collateral damage." Yet this is collateral damage: innocent lives taken as a result of violence.

    Only a few days ago nine Iraqi civilians were killed in collateral damage—for being in the way of allied air strikes. They join the estimated 700,000 Iraqi civilians, mostly women and children, killed by the failied sanctions in the last ten years. And, we say Saddam Hussein is asking for it. Perhaps, but we're not giving it to him - his people are suffering because they happen to be stuck, powerless in their homeland.

    I grieve the losses in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in the Pennsylvania countryside, and the losses around the world from all forms of violence. I grieve the loss of our humanity when we perpetuate violence. I grieve the loss of our potential to turn our creativity toward healing and peace. The violence isn't theirs, and it isn't ours. The violence is everyone's. Violence begets violence; tragedy begets tragedy.

    Our leaders talk of wreaking vengeance not just on the perpetrators, but on the nations that harbor them. It appears at this point that Osama bin Laden is behind the attacks of last week, and so we will attack Afghanistan. And yet, Afghanistan is already a hopelessly poor country. In the 1970's and 80's, the Soviet Union waged war on Afghanistan. Two million Afghan men were killed in that war; there are millions of widows already and an estimated 500,000 disabled orphans. Can we bomb Afghanistan back to the Stone Age? We've lost our chance: the Soviets did it. Level their houses, schools, and hospitals? Too late. And, ironically, Osama bin Laden began his violent career as one of the mujaheddin resistance, trained by the Pakistanis with CIA help in the war against the Soviets.

    Rabbi Michael Lerner wrote in the September 16th on-line issue of the Jewish bimonthly magazineTikkun, "… the willingness of people to hurt each other to advance their own interests has become a global problem, and it's only the dramatic level of this particular attack which distinguishes it from the violence and insensitivity to each other that is part of our daily lives."

    Somehow we must begin a global dialogue. We must renounce violence and begin to listen to each other. We need to ask why anyone could do such a thing and how we can redress their grievances, rather than perpetuate the violence.

    We must denounce the violence in the United States; we must denounce the violence in Palestine and Israel; we must denounce the international trade in arms. Together, we must rise above the brutality of bombs and hunger and pollution and repression and exploitation. We must rise above our primitive need for vengeance, or we and the whole world will sink with the weight of our folly.

    Why is America hated in so much of the globe? While our people are well regarded in most of the world, many of our government's actions fuel the fires of hatred. We must bring our government into alignment with our highest ideals. The future of the planet relies on it. We are called to speak now, not tomorrow.

    We must call for global dialogue and renounce ALL violence. I cannot allow peace to be held captive by the forces of violence.

    Until all people are fed and housed and treated with dignity, there will be despair and suffering and violence. When we realize that we can no longer build walls high enough to keep out the consequences of our nation’s actions, we will, perhaps, begin to change the way we relate to one another.

    If we try through violence, repression, and restriction of liberties to avenge this tragedy and prevent its repetition, we will destroy this country in a vain attempt to save it.

    My greatest concern is the degree to which we, the people, are overcome by shock and numbness. While we try to take in the enormity of recent events, others who would plunge us into horrific reprisals are pushing their plans toward reality. Once the war begins, there will be no putting the genie back in the bottle. We will be exposed to a campaign of what the government calls "perception alteration," but in reality is propaganda. We will hear no dissenting voices and the voices we hear will be carefully choreographed to give the illusion of consensus. Already, violence is being made to sound like peacemaking.

    Do not misunderstand me: I love the United States in all its ideals and potential. Most of what we do in the world flows from the generosity and goodness of our people. But, we have acted from ignorance and blindness in the past and so have many others. I honor our highest motives and I call upon our leaders to act from them.

    If we unleash violence, we will lose our power to keep China's barely contained violence against its perceived enemies at bay. We will provide cover for the Russians against the Chechens and justify violence in similar hotspots around the globe. And, we will ensure that the bloodshed is perpetuated and guarantee that it will be visited upon us again in the future. Nothing will stop the violence except making peace.

    My greatest hope is that we, the people, will come together to speak from our hearts.

    I call for a national dialogue on the future actions of our country.

    We must begin now to articulate a future in which life can flourish. We must begin to see a way beyond divisions to unity of purpose. I call all people of peace to join in this call to dialogue.

    If our leaders will not listen to us, we, the people, must simply abandon them and come together in dialogue. The old saying continues to be relevant: If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    I urge us all to make no mistake. We appear to stand on the brink of perpetrating horrific vengeance. As an American citizen, I am directly responsible for every life that is about to be taken! As a human being, I fear for the targets of our rage, and I am inspired to create peace. With an open, though breaking, heart, I call for people everywhere to unite in changing the course of history.

    Some tell me that there are dark forces that do not want things to change. I'm told that some people want to maintain control of other people's lives and are willing to do anything to maintain it. Perhaps that is true. Or perhaps this is simply confusion and fear continuing to pile into each other like an unending train wreck that results in the tragedies of world events.

    Are we condemned to repeating history? Or are we capable of climbing above our past behavior and acting instead from our highest motivations? Is the world something we are meant to watch like buildings collapsing, or is history something we make and can direct toward healing?

    My heart is broken, as the hearts of many are broken. May we find the courage to take this horrific lesson and use it to bridge the deep divides in our world. May our broken hearts find new expanse to take in our global condition and act from love and wisdom. And may we have the persistence to stay the course of peacemaking.

    In great sadness and increasing determination to heal,

    (Return to Resource Index)


    Healing the Pain by Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D., author of Teach Only Love: The Twelve Principles of Attitudinal Healing and Diane Cirincione, Ph.D., author of An Introduction to the Course in Miracles
    Their website is www.attitudinalhealing.org

    We, as are millions of people all over the world, have been in a state of shock, bewilderment and dismay, the depth of sadness, grief, and anger that anything this outrageous could ever happen. We, our nation, and the world are sharing a grief process that has such magnitude that it defies description.

    Part of the grief process has to do with getting in touch with all of our feelings and to be able to share them with others. Anger is often a part of the grief process. We, as people who have worked in the death and dying and grief areas through Attitudinal Healing for over 25 years, feel that it is important to be aware of our anger and to share our feelings without attacking others with our anger. Grief is a process that for most of us takes time. It encompasses stages of denial, shock, anger, confusion, deep sadness, and more. ...More...

    (Return to Resource Index)


    Some Thoughts by Jean Houston, author of Jump Time: Shaping Your Future in a World of Radical Change
    Full text is available at a different site (see "More")

    Dear Friends,

    The world has turned a corner in the last few hours. We are no longer where we were nor safe in any of our assumptions. In this time of massive personal, communal, national and planetary tragedy we must gather together in mind, body and spirit to pray, and to pray and to pray.

    (Return to Resource Index)


    Where Was God in All This? is a question asked and answerd by Marianne Williamson and also Russian philosopher P.D. Ouspenski, author of In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching

    Dear Friends,

    Several people have asked this puzzling question, and I thought perhaps you would be interested in how I answered. Have a peaceful, loving and surrendered day.

    Love,
    Marianne

    "WHERE WAS GOD IN ALL THIS? WHY DIDN'T GOD SEND ANGELS? HOW COULD GOD ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN?"

    One of the fundamentals of a metaphysical worldview is that human beings have free will. We can think and act with love, OR we can think and act without love - which is fear. Clearly, the terrorists who perpetrated these acts chose to think and act without love. But God Himself will not violate the Law of Free Will; to do so would be to violate His own creation.

    (Return to Resource Index)


    A Message About the Recent Tragedy by Robert Fritz, author of The Path of Least Resistance for Managers: Designing Organizations to Succeed
    This message has been passed on to many different recipients, but the origin is unkown.

    Dear Friends,

    In the aftermath of the tragedies that struck, not only our country, but the entire world, we grieve for innocent people who have died, for those whose lives were so profoundly touched, and for the world itself. How can we reach in and touch those in pain with healing and relief? How can we express our gratitude to those real heroes who have given their energies and even their lives to save others? Let us be guided by their example, and join them in spirit and in acts of support and confirmation. Bless those exceptional men and women.

    Were the tragedy a natural event...an earthquake, hurricane, volcano...we would be able to understand it better. However, it is a product, not of nature, but of people...perhaps human nature. As we look to history for insights and answers to why would such cruelty and evil exists, we find that there has always been a struggle between those who would build civilization, and those who would tear it down. Humanity is always capable of great acts of selflessness, and great acts of destruction. Mother Theresa once shocked people by saying that she could have been Hitler. What did she mean? She meant that the direction of her life was not an inevitability, but rather a choice. She was aware that, as a human being, she was capable of evil, but she was also capable of good. She understood the profound choice she had, that of using her life to support her highest aspirations and values...not because she had to, but because she wanted to. Just because humanity is capable of evil doesn't mean that it's inclinations are toward evil. For most people, their inclinations and desires are to support what is good and highest in the human spirit.

    How are we to understand these catastrophic events? In some ways we can't. Yes, we will hear the TV pundits tell us their various theories of why this, and why that, but these speculations can't get at the truth of it. We will find that hard, if not impossible to understand. And if we could understand, would that help right the wrongs and bring us resolution and comfort? Hardly. So we are left with our grief, but also a blessing. The blessing is choice itself. Good or evil is a choice. Yes, we need to fight against those who would destroy us...a society has a right to protect itself. But we can do so much more than just being defensive. We can build a more sophisticated civilization...one in which there is the freedom and security to build our lives around our highest aspirations and deepest values. This is a choice to create rather than simply to react or respond to the prevailing circumstances. And when you make such a choice, it becomes a powerful force for good.

    What defines a civilization? Yes, the politics, power structures, and institutions of control. But another force is those who create. Often the arts and sciences are what remains as a legacy while everything else is forgotten. We don't think too much about Napoleon, but we still listen to Beethoven because he was able to reach something higher and more lasting. How can we address evil? By being a force for good. By dedicating our lives to those things that matter most to us. And as we live our lives within the context of that orientation, we can carry the blessing of choice to it's fullest fruition. The accumulative acts of creation themselves become a force field, a power, a platform, a foundation, a beacon of hope, and a path to travel.

    Love,
    Robert Fritz

    PO Box 116
    Grimes Hill Road
    Williamsville, Vermont 05362
    Tel: 800.848.9700; Fax: (802) 348-7444
    E-mail: info@robertfritz.com

    (Return to Resource Index)


    What Can We Do? by Gary Baran, Executive Director of the Center for Nonviolent Communication
    This message has been made available with the permission of the author.

    What unique contribution can those who are striving to live in accordance with the principles of Nonviolent Communication© make in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11?

    We can help meet many, many needs:

    First, we can offer empathy - empathy to ourselves and to others impacted by this tragedy. By doing so, we can facilitate the healing process, a process that may well take the rest of our lives. Each of us can stay connected to our own feelings and needs.

    We can ask others: Are you feeling frightened and needing safety? Or confused and needing to understand how this could happen? Or we can just silently and respectfully tune into what we sense others are going through, just being with them as they go through it. ...More...

    (Return to Resource Index)


    Lessons Learned by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Stanford University Professor and President Elect of the American Psychological Association
    Thanks to Self-Help Magazine for identifying this essay to us.

    There is much to be learned from the tragic events that unfolded on September 11, 2001, and much to be done to heal the wounds opened by this devastating attack by terrorist forces against the United States. Here are some of my personal and professional thoughts on this subject, some aspects of which I have been investigating for many years. [These views are not necessarily endorsed by either Stanford University nor the American Psychological Association.]

    (Return to Resource Index)


    Talk with God Today by Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue
    Thanks to Sarah Baylow for identifying this essay to us.

    Statement - September 11, 2001 - 12 noon PST

    Dear friends around the world:

    The events of this day cause every thinking person to stop their daily lives, whatever is going on in them, and to ponder deeply the larger questions of life. We search again for not only the meaning of life, but the purpose of our individual and collective experience as we have created it-and we look earnestly for ways in which we might recreate ourselves anew as a human species, so that we will never treat each other this way again.

    The hour has come for us to demonstrate at the highest level our most extraordinary thought about Who We Really Are.

    There are two possible responses to what has occurred today. The first comes from love, the second from fear. If we come from fear we may panic and do things-as individuals and as nations-that could only cause further damage.

    If we come from love we will find refuge and strength, even as we provide it to others.

    A central teaching of Conversations with God is: What you wish to experience, provide for another.

    Look to see, now, what it is you wish to experience-in your own life, and in the world. Then see if there is another for whom you may be the source of that.

    If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.

    If you wish to know that you are safe, cause another to know that they are safe.

    If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another to better understand.

    If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of another.

    Those others are waiting for you now. They are looking to you for guidance, for help, for courage, for strength, for understanding, and for assurance at this hour. Most of all, they are looking to you for love.

    This is the moment of your ministry. This is the time of teaching. What you teach at this time, through your every word and action right now, will remain as indelible lessons in the hearts and minds of those whose lives you touch, both now, and for years to come.

    We will set the course for tomorrow, today. At this hour. In this moment.

    There is much we can do, but there is one thing we cannot do. We cannot continue to co-create our lives together on this planet as we have in the past. We cannot, except at our peril, ignore the events of this day, or their implications.

    It is tempting at times like this to give in to rage. Anger is fear announced, and rage is anger that is repressed, and then, when it is released, that is often misdirected. Right now, anger is not inappropriate. It is, in fact, natural-and can be a blessing. If we use our anger about this day not to pinpoint where the blame falls, but where the cause lies, we can lead the way to healing.

    Let us seek not to pinpoint blame, but to pinpoint cause.

    Unless we take this time to look at the cause of our experience, we will never remove ourselves from the experiences it creates. Instead, we will forever live in fear of retribution from those within the human family who feel aggrieved, and, likewise, seek retribution from them.

    So at this time it is important for us to direct our anger toward the cause of our present experience. And that is not necessarily individuals or groups who have attacked others, but, rather, the reasons they have done so. Unless we look at these reasons, we will never be able to eliminate these attacks.

    To me the reasons are clear. We have not learned the most basic human lessons. We have not remembered the most basic human truths. We have not understood the most basic spiritual wisdom. In short, we have not been listening to God, and because we have not, we watch ourselves do ungodly things.

    The message of Conversations with God is clear: we are all one. That is a message the human race has largely ignored. Our separation mentality has underscored all of our human creations.

    Our religions, our political structures, our economic systems, our educational institutions, and our whole approach to life have been based on the idea that we are separate from each other. This has caused us to inflict all manner of injury, one upon the other. And this injury causes other injury, for like begets like and negativity only breeds negativity.

    It is as easy to understand as that. And so now let us pray that all of us in this human family will find the courage and the strength to turn inward and to ask a simple, soaring question: what would love do now?

    If we could love even those who have attacked us, and seek to understand why they have done so, what then would be our response? Yet if we meet negativity with negativity, rage with rage, attack with attack, what then will be the outcome?

    These are the questions that are placed before the human race today. They are questions that we have failed to answer for thousands of years. Failure to answer them now could eliminate the need to answer them at all.

    We should make no mistake about this. The human race has the power to annihilate itself. We can end life as we know it on this planet in one afternoon.

    This is the first time in human history that we have been able to say this. And so now we must direct our attention to the questions that such power places before us. And we must answer these questions from a spiritual perspective, not a political perspective, and not an economic perspective.

    We must have our own conversation with God, for only the grandest wisdom and the grandest truth can address the greatest problems, and we are now facing the greatest problems and the greatest challenges in the history of our species.

    It is not as if we have not seen this coming. Every spiritual, political, and philosophical writer of the past 50 years has predicted it. So long as we continue to treat each other as we have done on this planet, the circumstance that we face on this day will continue to present itself. The difference is that now our technology makes our anger much more dangerous.

    In the early days of our civilization, we were able to inflict hurt upon each other using sticks and rocks and primitive weapons. Then, as our technology grew, it became possible for clans to war against clans and, ultimately, for nations to war against nations.

    But even then, until most recent times, it was not possible for us to annihilate each other completely. We could destroy a village, or a town, or a major city, or even an entire nation, but only now is it possible for us to destroy our whole world so fast that nothing can stop it once the process has begun.

    That is what makes this point in our history different from any other. And that is what makes this call for each of us to have our own conversation with God so appropriate and so important.

    If we want the beauty of the world that we have co-created to be experienced by our children and our children's children, we will have to become spiritual activists right here, right now, and cause that to happen. We must choose to be at cause in the matter.

    So, talk with God today. Ask God for help, for counsel and advice, for insight and for strength and for inner peace and for deep wisdom. Ask God on this day to show us how to show up in the world in a way that will cause the world itself to change.

    That is the challenge that is placed before every thinking person today. Today the human soul asks the question: What can I do to preserve the beauty and the wonder of our world and to eliminate the anger and hatred-and the disparity that inevitably causes it - in that part of the world which I touch?

    Please seek to answer that question today, with all the magnificence that is You.

    I love you, and I send you my deepest thoughts of peace.

    Neale Donald Walsch

    (Return to Resource Index)


    They Took My Sense of Humor by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
    Thanks to Scott Adams for permission to use his letter.

    9/11/01

    Every morning for over twelve years I woke up before dawn, grabbed my timer-brewed coffee and sat down to draw a Dilbert comic. I did it seven days a week. I did it on Thanksgiving. I did it on Christmas. I did it when I was sick. That was my rule, unless I was traveling. No exceptions. Never.

    People always asked me, "Do you ever have writer's block?" Nope. Not once.

    On 9/11/01, that changed. Somehow I managed to turn off the television for a few minutes. I stared at a blank piece of paper. It stayed blank.

    The bastards took my sense of humor.

    Shock. Disbelief. Grief. Anger. Repeat.

    The counting began. The husband of a friend, gone. The husband of a business associate, gone. A regular customer of my restaurant, gone. The innocence of a generation of children, gone. Trust, gone. Investments, squashed.

    We lost so much. But it put life in perspective, and that might be the one good thing to come from this. Friends and family are more precious. I am grateful for every bite of food and every drink of water. My cats purr better. The first normal radio commercial in several days was deeply satisfying. I had taken so much for granted.

    The politicians and the soldiers have their jobs to do. We all know our roles too -- somehow automatically -- a reassuring sign of our indestructible connectedness.

    Now I'm going to do my job. I'm taking back my sense of humor. I hope you'll join me when you can. If you're not ready, read no further. We'll catch up later, my friend. (pause, take a breath) (...More...)

    (Return to Resource Index)


    Ten Choices We Get to Make in the Aftermath of Terror by Louise Morganti Kaelin, a Life Success Coach and author of a bi- monthly free newsletter, The 3-Minute Coach. This essay originally appeared in the October 8, 2001 edition of the The Self-Improvement Newsletter and is provided here with the permission of the author.

    There is an interesting phenomenon that I call the Pendulum Effect, the fact that sometimes, in order to create the change we want, it is necessary to swing the pendulum to the extreme opposite end so that it may finally come to rest in a centered, balanced position. That is my explanation for the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. I also believe there may have been other ways to get to this same point, ways that would not take the same toll in human loss and suffering, yet I admit that I personally can not think of what else could have had the same world-stopping effect.

    I believe that this event is the starting point for a new tomorrow and that the choices we make from this point forward will shape what that tomorrow will look like. Listed below are the choices that we must make individually and as a community, whether local, national or global.

    1. Love or Hate
    This may be the most obvious choice we make. Do we harden our hearts towards everyone different from us? Or open our hearts to all those who share in our pain, regardless or race, religion, national ethnicity? I choose love.

    2. Unity or Divisiveness
    Do we band together in this hour of sadness? Or continue to focus on our petty differences? If our politicians can be united in their leadership, for one more hour, for one more day, then there is hope for intelligent, sharing dialog that allows us to work together to find appropriate solutions and responses. It also allows us to have confidence in those solutions. United, we celebrate our strengths and our joys and we share our pain and sorrow, easing the burden for each of us. I choose unity.

    3. World Focus or Individual Focus
    Do we begin to see ourselves as citizens of the world, with disappearing borders and common hopes and dreams? Or do we hide behind our own small defenses, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically? I choose to be a citizen of the world.

    4. Being Paralyzed with Fear or Forging Ahead
    Do we stop all movement, fearful of what the next step will bring? Or do we continue to move forward towards our goals. As shock and disbelief give way to a new series of emotions, the need for each of us to refocus on our lives, on our personal dreams becomes evident. We are faced with choices each moment of the day, so we will need to choose over and over again. I know that it will not always be easy, but I choose to forge ahead.

    5. Stuck in Anger or Move Through Stages
    There are multiple stages to grief: disbelief, denial, guilt, anger, sadness, acceptance, nostalgia, hope for tomorrow, moving on. All are appropriate responses, although we must temper our expression of each and every one of them. Some individuals feel it 'safer" to stay in anger, but any attempt to manipulate the process ultimately ends in failure. I choose to move through the stages, knowing that I will go through each one multiple times.

    6. New Beginning or Futile End / Hope or Futility
    We can take the opportunity to learn from this event and mold a new beginning, refocusing on what's important and aligning our lives with our values. Or we can see it as the end of peace and security. I choose to honor the victims and see this as a new beginning.

    7. Change Agent or "The Way We Were" Agent
    In times of stress, people want to find comfort in getting things back to normal as soon as possible. Unfortunately, "normal" is being redefined so we can't find solace there - yet. We can choose to acknowledge and accept that the world is changing or we can jump on the "way we were" band wagon. I choose to be a change agent.

    8. Learn or Be Oblivious
    Lessons abound for each of us. Do we learn the lessons from this tragedy or remain oblivious for a while longer. Remembering that other lessons I refused to learn continued to be repeated until I dealt with them, I choose to learn my lessons.

    9. First Things First or Go for the Brass Ring
    Before September 11th, many of us were caught up in the outward vestiges of success in our careers and daily activities - position, fame, money, power, the attainment of 'things'. It's not that these are bad goals, they just need to be put in perspective. One lesson or choice for many of us is refocusing on what's truly important-people. Whether it's family, neighbors, coworkers, or community, we are blessed with the opportunity to choose people over things. I choose first things first-people.

    10. Leader or Follower
    Never in my lifetime have I seen such cohesiveness between American political leaders, nor between so many international leaders. It is inspiring and fills me with hope. There are those (including many members of the media, but I will save you from my rant on the media) who find the unity boring or confusing and who do their best to remind people of the petty differences that existed on September 10th. Individually we can lead others to a new understanding by being willing to hear what everyone has to say or we can follow the pack looking for ways to point out weaknesses (real or perceived). I choose to be a leader. I choose, without reliving my own past political choices, to make my decisions based on actions from today and not last November, or worse, 60 years ago.

    (Return to Resource Index)


    An Alternative to Silence by Paul Rogat Loeb author of Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time. He is the author of three other books on citizen involvement with war, peace, and social justice issues and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor.
    This essay was forwarded to us by Bruce Elkin, President of What Matters Most and appears with the permission of the author.

    Americans, we're told, must now unite behind the president. Yet the Bush administration is itself divided by a struggle between pragmatists and hardliners. It will likely remain so as its responses to the terrible attacks of September 11 continue to evolve. These divisions could give the voices of ordinary citizens a key role in influencing critical decisions. But only if we find the courage to speak out.

    So far, we've watched from the sidelines, angry, mourning, and shell-shocked, while Bush's advisors debate their responses. Congressional Democrats have been silent as well, politically cowed. Meanwhile, Colin Powell and national security advisor Condoleeza Rice advocate for creating as broad an international alliance as possible, and pursuing specific delimited goals of bringing those responsible to justice. At the same time, others, like secretary of defense Donald Rumsfield, assistant secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz, and long-time Cold Warriors Richard Perle, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Bill Kristol, are arguing for attacks against regimes from the Taliban to Iraq, Iran, and Syria, as well as radical groups in Lebanon and the West Bank. During the Reagan era, this same group pioneered the theology of winnable nuclear wars and (along with Bush's new U.N. ambassador, John Negroponte) spearheaded U.S. support for a disturbing array of dictators and government-sponsored death squads. Now, as Powell and some of the Pentagon generals have pointed out, they risk igniting the entire Islamic world against us.

    The risks are real. Think of Iran, and the delicate path that reformer Mohammad Khatami is pursuing toward democratization. Bomb enough Islamic civilians, and his already-beleaguered regime will fall, replaced by the Ayatollahs. Think of Pakistan, with its nuclear capabilities and fundamentalists eager to topple a military government. If we further the cycle of indiscriminate violence, we'll only incite more terrorists.

    For the moment, Powell's position seems to be prevailing, but given the historical antagonism between him and Dick Cheney, and the Bush administration's consistent pursuit of rightwing policies in its first six months, we should take nothing for granted. So for all the calls to simply "support the president," it may be the voices of everyday citizens that determine which views prevail, and whether these terrible events are the last of their kind, or the beginning of still more brutal cycles of vengeance. As citizens, we may feel an impulse to defer responsibility, to say we don't know enough, or it's not our place to speak out. We may be intimidated by Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer's bullying warning, about Politically Incorrect host Bill Maher, that Americans "need to watch what they say, watch what they do." But with the stakes so high, we can't afford to be silent. If we have reservations against responding to these unconscionable attacks with our own indiscriminate violence, we need to speak out now, to prevent our government from embarking on paths that will bring neither security nor justice.

    The polls show support for Bush's responses so far, but not for unlimited retaliation. From conversations I've had in some of the most conservative regions of the country, many who praise Bush do so specifically because they view his reactions as restrained, though it seems to me a grave mistake that he refused to even entertain those rituals of discussion that might have allowed the Taliban to both comply with our demands and save face. Americans want our government to apprehend those who created these attacks-but not to embark on a global "Crusade" that could far too easily become a global war.

    If we do speak out and demand that our elected representatives to do the same, we'll have at least a chance of helping to shape public debate in wiser directions-like stopping the continued buildup of a missile defense system that would not have protected us from the terrible attacks of September 11, and would not protect us in the future. We might work to combine Powell's doctrine of multilateral intervention with policies that develop genuine global justice and democracy, and refuse to cannibalize the earth. We need to reject approaches that risk seeding the ground for future bitter harvests of destruction.

    We'd do well to recall, in this context, that our leaders, including Bush senior, helped arm and train Osama bin Laden and promote Afghan opium production as part of our support for the anti-Soviet Mujahideen. They backed Saddam Hussein and his Baathist Party as a counterweight to Iran, whose Ayatollah came to power as leader of the only force capable of overthrowing the brutal Shah. The United States had supported the Shah since our CIA installed him in 1953, after overthrowing an elected prime minister who'd dared to talk of nationalizing oil. Few Americans even know about the estimated one million Iraqis who have died because the Gulf War and our continuing embargo have destroyed their most basic health and sanitation systems. But to the Islamic world, their deaths are an open wound. Unless we create a more just world, desperate men from voiceless communities will continue to destroy more innocent lives, here and abroad.

    If we choose to participate in marches and vigils, we can't afford to be self-righteous. We've got to stay humble. The CIA played a role in the chain of events that made possible these terrible attacks, but chanting "CIA kills" sounds as if we place a higher priority on gloating and being proven right in our opposition than in recognizing how profoundly American is now stunned and wounded. We need to make clear that we as well want their perpetrators brought to justice. And we need to make our views heard--whether through marching, writing letters, making phone calls, or initiating discussion and debate in our local churches and temples, PTAs, city council meetings, Rotary Clubs, and with coworkers, neighbors, and friends.

    We can never know every facet of this situation, nor every detail of how our government responds. We may not know whether our actions will prevail. But we need to say what we think, even if it ends up drawing heat. This means reaching out to those who disagree with us on how to respond to this brutal cataclysm. It means acting with enough faith and strength to keep on raising the difficult questions, demanding paths that give our nation a chance to break the endless cycles of vengeance. For the more difficult the times, the more true patriotism means taking responsibility for our government's actions.

    (Return to Resource Index)


    Inspirational and Centering Quotes by various authors
    Sometimes knowing that others have seen, experienced and felt what we have experienced can provide a focus, a centre or direction for our spirits.

    I've encountered many defeats. Without defeats, how do you really know who the hell you are? If you never had to stand up to something, to get up, to be knocked down, to get up again, life can walk over you wearing football cleats. But each time you do get up, you're bigger, taller, finer, more beautiful, more kind, more understanding, more loving. Each time you get up, you're more inclusive. More people can stand under your umbrella.
    Maya Angelou

    A friend is the gift you give yourself.
    Grey Owl
    I've always found a gift hidden in every adversity. That doesn't make adversity any easier; it only makes it more meaningful.
    Dan Millman

    No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one's temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of his presence.
    C.S. Lewis

    We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.
    John Gardner

    The experience of democracy is like the experience of life itself-always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested by adversity.
    James (Jimmy) Carter

    Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
    Abraham Lincoln

    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
    Albert Einstein

    By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean.
    Mark Twain

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
    Moshe Dayan

    When will our consiences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    Compromise does not mean cowardice.
    John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.
    Martin Luther King

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