Children carry with them an innocence that is far more powerful than
any of the darkness the Beast of Terror shadows upon those who study
his handiwork. Children represent the hope of the
future, and, if we don't communicate with them, we forget the Beast
doesn't really rule this world. Find out how the children
cleanse the Beast of Terror--when you communicate with them.
Friday, February 6,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 877
How Children Wash Clean The Beast Of Terror
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 6, 2004 -- Where do you go to
escape the Beast of Terror these days? My respite is my
teeters on its news axis
This morning, as I do each day, I scoured the news, from the NY Times,
to the Christian Science Monitor, to Al-Jazeera and ended up with
The world teeters on its
news axis. Or so it seems. Here are some
examples of today's headlines, all seeming to tilt humanity toward the
jaws of the Beast.
suicide bomber blew up a carload of subway commuters in Russia.
►Pakistan chided the
nuclear scientist who helped Libya and North Korea refine their
►Germany released a 9/11
suspect for lack of evidence, setting free one of the key people
alleged to part of the planning the Terrorist attack that killed
nearly 3,000 Americans.
►A young girl, 11, caught
on videotape being kidnapped, is feared dead. Allegations
that police did not issue an Amber (Terrorist) Alert for the first 24
hours, hangs ominously over the possibility of Complacency on
law-enforcement's part. The Amber Alert is designed to
bring the entire community into a state of Vigilance to thwart
kidnappings of children and/or recover those kidnapped.
►Then there was the
expulsion of St. John University athletes after a woman accused them
falsely of raping her. The students were at a strip bar
where they met the woman.
►And a Catholic Bishop is
denying charges of sexual abuse against a child.
If you took to heart the
headlines, you would stop reading the news, and dismantle your
television. You would crawl into a shell.
That's where my
grandchildren come to my rescue.
Battling Terrorism as I
do each day means I must look into the Belly of the Beast and see what
he ate last night, then try to design ways to help others fight their
way out of his bloody gut.
feels the Beast swallowed me whole and I can't find my way out
Sometimes, the Beast wins. Sometimes, it feels like he
swallowed me whole, and in the darkness of his entrails, I can't find
my way out. Terror News is a quagmire with nothing
to provide firm footing to climb out except the belief that perhaps a
few words here or there might find root in some mother's or father's
mind, causing them to shift their priorities to being more Vigilant.
That's what my
grandchildren do for me.
Yesterday, I picked up
the grandkids from school. Matt is seven and Sarah is 5.
My wife was at our daughter's apartment, watching Angus, 18 months.
As we walked down the
crowded streets of the East Village, Sarah stopped and gawked at an
older woman just ahead of us. She was limping badly.
"G-Pa, that lady has a
hurt leg!" She studied the woman's game leg and awkward
walk that seemed to crumble on one side as she picked her way slowly
through the flowing bodies moving up and down the sidewalk.
"She's hurt, G-Pa."
Sarah was a
child of compassion
I studied Sarah's face. It was pained.
Children see the innocence of humanity, not its darkness.
The constrictions on Sarah's face illustrated her sharing of the woman's
pain, as though she were trying to understand the agony of a limp that
appeared to be a crippling of another being.
"She hurt her leg a long time ago, Sarah,"
I said. "She walks that way now."
My explanation didn't seem to help.
Sarah glanced concernedly over her shoulder as we passed the lady.
To her, the woman was one of flock, wounded. I
thought of herd of animals moving through a savannah, and a young calf
walking past an older animal with a wounded leg who limped and
dragged, trying to maintain pace with the flow of the herd.
The calf couldn't understand why it didn't walk like the others, why
it was falling back farther and farther where the danger exists, where
lions and other carnivores await the weak and helpless.
grandchildren and their parents are avid Star Trek fans
about child's compassion for other living creatures, human or
non-human. Children offer far different headlines than the
papers or television. They speak through their hearts;
their emotions are free from the Beast, at least those who are brought
up with Vigilance, caring and love.
Matt, the seven-year-old, was
rattling off his dreams to be a Starship commander. He's a Star
Trek Next Generation fan, and with his Legos, creates a host of
magical phasers and star ships from different galaxies that would
rival Gene Roddenberry's imagination. He was urging me to
join him when we got home in a battle against the Romulans, arch
rivals of the Federation. He wanted me to draw spaceships
with him and to construct Lego weapons to detect intruders.
Generation's Captain Picard said he is opposed to sending human
beings to colonize the universe: "Not until we have solved our
problems of living together on earth"
thought of the recent article I read by Patrick Stewart, the star of
Next Generation, who was being asked about the recent surge in
renewing our search to explore space by landing a manned mission on
Mars and setting up a base on the moon in the near future.
Stewart, who played Captain Picard, was adamantly against sending
human beings to "colonize" the universe. "Not until we
have solved our problems of living together on earth," he admonished.
But, I saw in Matt's
imagination, the belief that human beings have hope in the stars.
His mind had opened a new frontier--the idea of reaching beyond the
stars. Perhaps one day, human beings will search
their collective minds, and bring their best to surface, as is
exampled in Star Trek's many versions.
The children remind the old that
there is hope in our vast universe, and that compassion for others isn't dead.
Later that evening, I sat with Sarah
and helped her with her reading. She is on the cusp of
learning the power of words printed on paper. In the
first grade, she is learning how to spell and to convert the
black-and-white lithography into mental images she can cogitate.
I helped Sarah
with her reading
Our book was
"Go, Dog. Go!" I worked with Sarah on the phonetics of each
word. She sounded them out, exaggerating some so that the
word was disguised to the ear. Then I had her say the
phonemes fast, so they compressed. I coached her on a few sounds
until she realized what the word was.
Her face beamed. "Grrrrreen!"
She said. "Green, G-Pa!"
"Perfect. That's it!"
We went through the entire book, working on
the words and then the short, simple sentences. Each time
she conquered a word, her head straightened and she boasted out the
word, triumphant that she now had a new power--to convert the black
and white into recognizable thoughts.
I feared my
granddaughter would be exposed to the Horror of Headlines
In a way, I
wondered if she wasn't leaving behind her innocence by learning to
read. While there are many benefits to reading, there are also
deficits. Soon, she would be able to read headlines. She
would be exposed to all the news "that's not really fit to print."
She would see inch-high banner headlines shouting out the murders,
violence, crime and inhumanity that the world boils to the surface
through its media.
She would have to learn not to deny the
world's good just because the headlines suggested the world was bad.
She would have to learn to see through the Beast of Terror and focus
on the Sentinel of Vigilance standing behind the Beast, driving him
away with a Sword and Shield of Vigilance.
But, for the moment, she was enveloped in
"Go Dog Go!" And that was fine.
It was fine for me. I was
present for her, helping her, as her G-Ma does, and her parents' do,
explore the vast potential of her mind.
Sarah was a
Child of Innocence and my Sentinel of Vigilance
my Sentinel of Vigilance. She, and her brother, and the little
guy Angus who has yet to connect sentences and words, were Children of
Innocence. They lived in a world where their every needs
were met, both physical and emotional. They were
surrounded by grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins--all of whom formed
a Womb of Vigilance, protecting one another from the assaults of the
world, shielding them from the horrible continents of news of human
violence and human disregard for humanity.
I thought about the victims of Nine
Eleven, those Spirits of Vigilance who rose above Ground Zero on the
fateful day of September 11, 2001, and their purpose for sacrificing
I realize their purpose is to remind us all
to protect the children from Terrorism, in all its many forms.
Their deaths are monuments to our renewed responsibility to close the
gap with our loved ones, whether they are our children, grandchildren,
our nieces, nephews or simply loved ones who represent the precious
and beautiful future of humanity.
This includes the children in Iraq, North
Korea, China, Pakistan, West Africa, South America--all children in
all lands of all different shapes and sizes and backgrounds.
It means we have to fight the threat of
becoming sour on the future, illustrated by Patrick Stewart's comment.
If we give up the hope of exploring space, perhaps we give up the hope
of cleaning up our own act on terra firma.
If I were to tell Matt that he shouldn't
dream about exploring space until all the killing and maiming on earth
is resolved, I would drive a nail into his heart. I would kill
added a rainbow over the cesspool
If I told
Sarah she shouldn't learn to read because she would be exposed to
humanity's underbelly through the media, and that she should always be
innocent, without regard to the world's problems or their solutions, I
would deprive her of her right to change to the world. I would
interfere with her right to feel sad for a woman with a limp, and
perhaps alter the potential future that she might grow up to be a
great orthopedic surgeon who dedicated her life to helping people with
gimp legs walk without pain or instability.
The children washed clean all the headlines
I read. They added a rainbow over the cesspool.
They reminded me that Children of Vigilance
are the key to conquering the Beast of Terror.
Real Weapons Of Mass Destruction