This is one of the earliest Powerful Peace discussions on video, recorded in Washington nearly a year ago. It’s fun for me to look back on the earliest expressions, marvel at the consistency of the concepts over time, and discover along with my audience what’s evolving in the message!
My prayers go out for the recovery of this living legend in the endless striving toward dignity for every human.
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”
-Norman Vincent Peale
I love this quote from Peale; the most important word, in my opinion, is “humble.” The greatest warrior is humble. He fights to protect, not to harm. He is empowered to serve others, not his own ego.
This subordination of self to mission, paradoxically, results in the unbreakable confidence Peale mentioned–the warrior has no burden of petty conceit, or fear for his “image.” His confidence is a bedrock of the rightness of sacrifice in service to others. In utter humility, the mightiest warrior will lay down his very life to save a tiny child’s.
[Note: Comments to the LOL Project will be displayed as Posts below this introduction, so scroll down to jump into the conversation. Remember--add your Comment to this post, and we'll move them into the thread as full-fledged Posts.]
Join us, right now as you read this, for a very cool opportunity you will not find out in the mainstream media of any political leaning. Help us kick off and carry out the one-month “LOL Project.” Help us Lead Our Leaders. Many of them are doing what many of us are doing–jockeying for political dominance instead of devoting their energy toward the issues we need to work on. (Spoiler alert: you don’t have to be centrist and apolitical like me to join in. We’re looking for true believers from all segments; we’re looking for solutions, and those can only be found on common ground.)
One of the most contentious, costly and divisive presidential campaigns in history concluded last week, to the dizzying exhilaration of the “winners” and a soul-crushing disappointment on the other side. Of course, I’m cherry-picking the most extreme responses from each end…but those extremes seem to be swelling. I’ve watched it all with a mounting sense of unease that has nothing to do with the specific election results.
I’ve often said that the worsening polarization of America is not in the best interests of any of us “winners” or “losers.” It’s incredibly short-sighted for any political block among us to willingly align against–and vilify–a quarter or an entire half of the population of our own nation. I’ve also said (most recently in Powerful Peace, the book) that the very real enemies of freedom out there must be laughing up their sleeves at our voluntary, even eager, undermining of unity in these United States.
And if they have any foresight, they’re sharpening their knives for when we divide and weaken and scatter ourselves far enough.
Henry Ford said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” I’ll paraphrase his simple wisdom for this cautionary note: If we think our country is moving toward a vicious internal crisis or we think our country is not moving toward a vicious internal crisis…we’re right. Which will you choose? I vote for the not and believe we must say so in greater numbers.
Warning: it won’t take much more of today’s growing, panicked, verbal reactionism for actions to begin lining up with words.
It’s time for a counterswell against fearmongering, so we can strengthen our nation to be what our founders dreamed it could be. We can prevent the mob mentality if we recognize that we’re drifting that way.
We own our government, people. Yes, there are inequities in the application of this grand experiment of representative democracy, but in principle and through dedicated proactive action, every one of us can produce some result instead of bitching.
Shall we act? Let’s act with an eye on honoring all of America, and not on trying to make one half lose.
I invite every reader to begin sending Comments to this article at the Powerful Peace blog, effective now. For the next 30 days, until December 12th, I will “approve” every Comment on what’s wrong, or what’s right, or how to heal ourselves, or whatever you want to write on the topic…subject to one, unbreakable rule extracted from my LinkedIn.com Group “ThUD” (stands for “The Un-Divided”): Express With Respect.
Besides approving your comments, I will lift every one for the LOL Project and post them following this article so we can follow along in the form of a plain, honest, national virtual town hall. Civil discourse is an endangered species, yet it’s the only way for disputing parties to resolve differences without cracking skulls, literally or figuratively.
And you have a right to participate in the national dialogue and work for a communal way ahead. More than a right, in fact, you have an obligation. Participation is the responsibility of everyone who enjoys the gifts of freedom.
Also–if you’re active in LinkedIn, snap over to the Groups and join us in ThUD. The topics stray far beyond politics and nothing is off limits…for all who Express With Respect.
[Adam summarizes with a Biblical urging to "humble" ourselves, which Powerful Peace readers will recognize as one of the fundamental elements of effective balanced peacemaking. Interestingly, his introduction also hearkens to a strong theme in the book...so strong, in fact, that I devoted an entire chapter to the idea. The chapter entitled "Crisis" is a brief demonstration of our tendency to disregard minor--even major--differences in outlook or culture when a legitimate crisis strikes human beings. I used 9/11 as one example. I hope more of us will heed Adam's caution.]:
Adam: You bring up a good point about polarization. I also don’t see things getting better, at least in our current state. Something has to change. I made a comment to someone a few weeks ago about how we normally only come together as a nation when tragedy hits. Look at 9-11, horrible losses, but in one very small way it was good because for a while we all forgot our individual ‘sides’. We all realized that we were human beings first and foremost. You saw images of people – in public – at their most vulnerable, scared, injured, heartbroken, ANGRY – all in need of help. And it inspired compassion. We all wanted to DO something to help. What happened to THAT? We all say ‘never forget’, but I think a lot have forgotten.
A friend of mine says that maybe what the USA needs is not to be to the big proud powerful comfortable nation that we have been, he said maybe it would do us good to have some lean times, some adversity. Maybe we need some of our props kicked out from underneath us to cause us to re-evaluate what’s REALLY important to us.
I’m starting to see his point, but I don’t want that, I’d like to see us ‘humble ourselves’ (See James 4:10) and avoid that stuff. What does it take?
A Powerful Peace perspective: pig extremist hypocrites fail and will always fail; they run against what’s right in every human being’s breast
Good luck, Taliban hard liners (you fine, strong, decent and righteous “holy warriors”). Good luck to you, too, Fred Phelps and Westboro “Baptist” pretenders. Good luck, in fact, to all those hate-filled, self-serving rejectors of all that is hard-wired into the human experience of the true spirit of God. You blind wretches.
In today’s posting, I will let the insanity of such thinking speak for itself in the article below. The madness of the Taliban trying (and failing) to kill a little girl for speaking out against them is one many of us would not be able to fathom…but this story of their promising to finish the job is another dimension down the rabbit hole, indeed!
These cowardly, greedy, cruel, ignorant, pathetic, despicable pigs invalidate and isolate themselves a full mile further from the human race with every such unspeakable atrocity. They fully earn the rage and contempt of billions, from all faiths…and also from those who, staggered at such monstrous abuses justified in the name of God, choose to believe in none.
The attempted murderer of this little girl and every one of his accomplices deserves nothing less than a terrifying, agonizing, possibly lingering death for such indisputable evil. Sometimes, in the broader course of crime and punishment, mercy is not germane to a situation. This is one such case. And anyway, when these swine die—and every one of them will—they will enjoy an eternity of screaming for mercy from whichever high-ranking and enthusiastic demon is assigned responsibility for their endless torment.
#NYTimes: “Taliban: Attack on Pakistani Schoolgirl Justified”
“ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Taliban insurgents said on Tuesday that the Pakistani schoolgirl its gunmen shot in the head deserved to die because she had spoken out against the group and praised U.S. President Barack Obama.
“Malala Yousufzai, 14, was flown to Britain on Monday, where doctors said she has every chance of making a ‘good recovery.’”
“The attack on Yousufzai, who had been advocating education for girls, drew widespread condemnation.
“Pakistani surgeons removed a bullet from near her spinal cord during a three-hour operation the day after the attack last week, but she now needs intensive specialist follow-up care.
“Authorities have said they have made several arrests in connection with the case but have given no details.
“Pakistan’s Taliban described Yousufzai as a ‘spy of the West.’”
Read the rest: http://ow.ly/1OZfq2
Here’s exactly why we have to bravely confront the crisis around the “anti-Islam video” and “filmmaker” Sam Bacile
May I explain to you the incredible and tragic irony of the world’s loss of a selfless ambassador and his staff, the endangerment of hundreds of other American diplomats, the irrational hysteria of thousands of faithful Muslims worldwide, and the very real threat that this wildfire might spread to incinerate hundreds of thousands more innocent lives? It was started by a cruel and stupid little boy with one little match…and it is being fanned and fueled by another cruel and stupid little boy.
The cruel, stupid little boy with the match is known by many, many names. That is typical of thieves and cheats; this little cheat and thief was convicted in 2009 of bank fraud. One of this liar’s many names is “Sam Bacile.” (Click “Sam‘s” name to read all about his checkered past and present.) I will prefer to use what should be his actual and real name, “Im Becile.” Im is a very bad little boy, who pushed his little matchstick of personal bigotry and hatred into a field of very dry grass known as strained tensions between cultures.
The other cruel and stupid little boy is represented by violent extremists. Many of these claim to be lovers of God, but are in fact merely scheming political animals seeking to gain personal power. The first stupid little boy’s video has been a wonderful opportunity for them. These violent extremists have no idea that the gasoline they pour on this fire will destroy all they personally value in life, and that the successful takeover of a society that has been utterly destroyed by war…is not much of a victory at all.
We hear about “angry protesters” in Libya, and we hear about an attack that took the lives of four American citizens. It’s very easy—natural, even—to assume “causation” between those facts.
Now look behind the assumption:
Libya consulate attack came after militants joined protesters, say witnesses, officials “At least an hour before the assault began, a stream of cars was seen moving toward the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. By late Tuesday evening, as many as 50 heavily armed militants had gathered outside its high walls.” Click the title to read the rest of that article from the Washington Post.
Whatever rockets, grenades and automatic weapons have been used in concerted attacks of terror in Benghazi and elsewhere, can any rational person even consider that these might have originated among a crowd of angry shopkeepers? These are extremists, terrorists, and they have been looking for such a stupid little boy as the “filmmaker” for a very long time. Now we have to choose: will we let a tiny minority of vocal haters on either side convince the vast majority of us that we’re all in a cosmic war? Please, for God’s sake—in all its literal meaning—try to stop and comprehend what is being done to twist everyone’s minds. Try to comprehend what is on the line, here.
The first stupid little boy has a little matchstick of bigoted hatred against Muslims, and he wants to burn up Islam itself. He says plainly that he hates the entire religion, as you can see in his article at the top. He stupidly thinks his little matchstick can be used to damage that one billion-plus people without hurting the other six billion on the planet. He is stupid in this, because any grownup knows that a matchstick used against one room of the house will burn the entire thing down.
More incredibly, his little video is reviled by the vast majority of Americans as being exactly what it is: despicable, offensive, wrong. Yet that is enough for the other stupid little boy, the violent extremists, to twist reality and spread the message that this idiot represents America.
They simply want to have political power. They think they can pour gasoline on the fire and excite enough support to push back against—and overcome—their political, racial, national and religious opponents.
They, too, think they can burn just one, isolated room in our house.
OUR HOUSE IS STARTING TO BURN, FRIENDS.
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
We can respond with gasoline of our own, and burn up our children. We can ignore it, and watch it worsen to burn up our children anyway. …Or we humans can stand together—regardless of nationality, faith or race—and apply the only possible solution to a crisis of this nature. We can form a bucket brigade to stop the irrational efforts of both little boys, and save our whole house.
If you still think this whole emergency is the fault of “The Muslims,” I would invite you to review my earlier posts here and timelines at www.Twitter.com (I’m @RobDuBois) or Facebook (www.Facebook.com/PowerfulPeace) of the past few days, during which I’ve been capturing and sharing something that does not break the threshold to be shown on an ordinary media spectacle: Muslim outrage against the murders and violence.
Better yet, please read the excellent writeup by my fellow Tweep and believing Muslim who can put that faith’s perspective into context for outsiders. That’s immediately below.
And finally: if any of this is making sense to you, please—please—share this message with your friends and colleagues. It is time to walk our Powerful Peace talk.
Extended post by ” @4Q2x ” ==>;
#Islam #Muslim #Libya #Afghanistan #Cairo #auspol #uspol #ausmedia #usmedia OK I am going to have to vent some so here comes my soap box. Firstly let me start by making a disclaimer I am a #Muslim. Next let me condemn those #Muslims who murdered Amb Stevens and his security personnel in the strongest terms possible, I will try not to swear but you get my gist.
There is no place in #Islam to murder innocent MEN, WOMEN or CHILDREN, Corey Saylor from the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ articulated my feelings better than I could have when he stated, ‘The greater insult to Islam is the violence, not the movie’ http://bit.ly/SiDtXM
What most people miss in all this discourse is a very important point raised by an incredible person who I only know through #Twitter =>; @eaaknighterrant a very intelligent person with a heart of gold. Before I raise his most important point I would encourage all of you to watch this clip and hopefully the full documentary “Beyond the Call” =>; http://bit.ly/scN2ld and read the book by his friend and another TRUE Humanitarian @RobDuBois ‘s book “Powerful Peace” =>; PowerfulPeace.net
Now getting back to Sir Ed’s point he states, ” This enemy we are now facing around the world..Isn’t just Islam or any specific Muslim sect..We are facing an IGNORANT enemy that we don’t even know and you can’t defend against an enemy you can’t understand either..” That point is HUGE in so many ways that most people in the community any community misses it entirely.
Read the rest: http://twextra.com/apjrdv
In response to my previous Powerful Peace post, below, I had an exchange with a dear friend and fellow SEAL family member. (Lynn’s late husband Steve was an excellent friend and role model to many of us.) Without fanfare, this thread merits its own post:
Reading the series of Tweets helped me. I know in my soul that these murders, attacks, protests are not supported by the majority of the “citizens” from Libya, et al. It helps to see that many are as outraged as I am.
Humans share human nature at the foundation of all our incredibly diverse cultural layers. Murder and mayhem are repugnant to humans. These murderers are in a radical minority by EVERY scale; among Muslims, among Libyans, among males, among North Africans….
Our greatest natural challenge, as I see it, is to fight the urge to assume the same traits–in other words, to be bigoted–against groups because of the wrongdoing of some of their members. It’s the foundation of race wars, religious wars, and world wars.
We are now confronted by a crisis in which some on both sides would like this to be branded a war between (all) Muslims and (all) Americans. If we buy that bullshit we condemn ourselves and millions of children to a hell on earth.
Well said, Rob. This made me sit back in my chair with my anger. This IS how wars start. A bunch of us on pedestals with “righteous” anger… I’ve separated the idiots from the people in my heart and mind, but this is the … Straight Up truth. Are you posting this on your blog? I can’t share from here… but I know I am not the only person who needs to read these words.
I am now. Thanks, Lynn.
There is no better validation for the principles of “balanced peacemaking” than the freshest on-the-ground truth (which will seem, in his own words, “counterintuitive”) from one of the top U.S. commanders in Afghanistan.
Below is an interesting September 5th press exchange with presenter Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, Commander, ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) Joint Command (IJC). He’s addressing a slew of questions from the floor about “Green on Blue” attacks, in which a number of Afghan Local Police (ALP) members have turned their weapons on Coalition partners. It is justifiably shocking for us in the United States, Europe or Australia to see our soldiers cut down by a trusted trainee or squad partner…yet knee-jerk reaction in assuming this problem has a simplistic solution is counterproductive to our own best interests. There have been a handful of such attacks in recent months, yet there are now one-third of a million Afghan National Security Force members. If this were merely a problem of bloodthirsty Afghan nature, we wouldn’t have any Coalition Force personnel still standing.
Note especially the passages I’ve bolded and italicized near the end. The general is saying we need to have much better cultural competence, which is part of the bedrock of everything you have read—and will read—in Powerful Peace.
Q: General, it’s Mike Evans from the Times.
Can I ask you, sorry, about the insider threat again? Since about 75 percent of the cases of green-on-blue appear to be non-insurgent-related, are you not more concerned about there being a build-up of cultural differences, cultural resentment between particularly the Americans as they are getting more of the victims and more of the cases than anyone else, and their Afghan partners? Isn’t that something which should be of greater concern?
And you mentioned also one aspect that where Afghan soldiers go on leave. I wondered if this is a particular problem where it becomes known to the Taliban that a local guy has joined up, he’s come back for a bit of home leave, is that a very vulnerable time when these guys might be either radicalized or intimidated?
LT. GEN. TERRY: Yeah, I would just say that we offered to the Afghans they ought to take a look at the leave period. I offered that one — that one to them personally based on my experience in the United States Army.
I find that my soldiers are most vulnerable as they — as they go out on leave as they expose themselves outside of the structure of the Army. And so I asked the Afghans, the national security forces to take a look at that.
We are – back to the cultural sensitivity piece of this – I would just say there are a number of factors that go into the remaining percent out there. We believe that 25, 26 percent of that — that other percentage out there personal related. Some of that can be defused with a greater understanding of cultural sensitivities.
I would just say that what we all recognize is that this is a society that’s really been traumatized by 30-plus years of war. It also has a gun culture out there. And we also understand that a lot of grievances and dispute resolutions are done, frankly, at the barrel of a gun out there.
So as we look toward cultural sensitivity, especially with things like Pashtunwali and greater understanding of the culture and of the religion, I think we also have to understand what this country and what this population has gone through over time.
So specifically we do export that back into the training base, not just on the U.S. side, but across all the troop-contributing nations out there. I fundamentally believe that this is, based on my experience of three tours over here, is that the closer you are in a — in terms of a relationship and friendship with the Afghan partners, probably the safer you are. And that’s counterintuitive. But a lot of that is really built around the Afghan out there, and specifically the Pashtuns and Pashtunwali.
And what we are moving toward and continue to train toward is that you’ve got to understand the sensitivities out there, and as you come into the theater, if you haven’t been here before, that you understand how to build those relationships with your Afghan partners out there.
Thanks. That’s a great question.
Praying for comfort to the suffering, justice to the guilty, and wisdom to us all.
“Powerful Peace; A Navy SEAL’s Lessons on Peace from a Lifetime at War” opens with my SEAL platoon’s experience of the despicable mass murders of 9/11/01…eleven years ago to the hour. This week I discussed that tortured birth of the message in private sessions with DC policy advisors and staffers from the U.S. House and Senate.
The highlight of the week’s campaign to share the concepts was a public event hosted by Grover Norquist and Michael Ostrolenk. Video will be available soon. Here is the audio recording: http://www.ostrolenkradio.com/2012/09/powerful-peace-live-from-dc/