What are Terror Eyes? Have you ever seen them?
If not, perhaps it is time you stood on a corner and watched people
walking by. You will see faces etched in
Terror. You will see eyes glazed and glassy,
shocked by some horrible feeling or news that makes them walk in a
state of Terror; their eyes will broadcast their
inner emptiness. And you? Have you ever had
Terror Eyes? Perhaps more often than you'd like to
admit. Find out how the Beast of Terror wants to
freeze your heart and soul in a block of Terror, and how to melt it
with Vigilance so you can see with clarity the traps the Beast sets.
Saturday, February 7,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 878
The Troubling Eyes Of Terrorism
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 7, 2004 -- It's frightening to look
into the Eyes of Terrorism. When you do, you see the
horror of the human soul. You see the vast emptiness of Courage,
Conviction and Right Action, and, in its place shines the dank, sallow
flickering falsity of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
I saw the Eyes of Terrorism
I dreamed of
the Eyes of Terrorism last night
startled. In my dream were the women I was standing next to at
the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. They
were screaming as they did that day, "We're all going to die!
We're all going to die!"
Their eyes had lost life's gleam.
They were glassy orbs shoved into sockets, glazed by the Fear that
life's precious moments were about end, that all the joys of living
were about to be snapped in two like a dried broken twig.
In the dream I saw the hoards of
people rushing up the street, pushing and shoving and careening off
others in a madding surge to escape the explosion of the first of two
Twin Towers to thunder down from a quarter mile in the sky, ripping
the ground as though a nuclear bomb had just been exploded.
The crowds rushing uptown to begin
their workday didn't see those cowering, frozen to the ground by their
own Fears and Intimidations, Complacently bolted in place.
The stampede of human survival threatened their frailty, for if they
stepped out to run they would be trampled, and the heaving of the
ground beneath them as the buildings exploded made their feet cement
blocks, too heavy to lift.
I remember grabbing the three women
and pulling them against a side of a building to keep them from being
bowled over, hoping that the debris and shrapnel from the exploding
building would not harm them.
"We're all going to die! We're all
going to die!"
Just before the cloud of choking black dust
enveloped us, I looked into their eyes--empty eyes, void of hope as
the final moments crushed down and we waited in a huddled mass against
the wall for death to take us.
I see Terror Eyes in many forms.
I see Terror
Eyes in many forms
Just walking down the streets of New York City one can stand or sit on
any busy corner and study people's faces, especially their eyes.
Before a cup of coffee is drunk, one or more people will pass with
Terror Eyes. They will be frozen with Fear.
They will be staring ahead at nothing, walking at a slower pace than
all the others. It could be a woman who was just diagnosed
with cancer, or a man who just lost his job, or a child being jerked
angrily along by a parent who has threatened it with a beating when
they get home for whatever crime the child committed.
It could be a street person whose mind is convinced the world is out
to get him or her, or a drug addict with no money frantically
searching for how to get the next fix. Or, perhaps it is a
young girl who ran away from home and came to New York only to find
its streets and people sharks waiting to consume her at every corner.
Then there were the eyes of Democratic candidate Howard Dean raging
wildly as he ranted after losing the Iowa caucus--his Nine Eleven.
Not all Terrorism is as
shocking as watching the world crumble before your very eyes.
Sometimes it takes subtle forms. A husband who says
something demeaning about his wife in public may not notice the spear
he thrust in the wife's heart as she jerks her head back and tries to
mask the pain and desolation of her soul that her spouse would publish
such a statement. The torrent of her tears unable cleanse her
The other day I saw a young boy,
about seven or eight, slap his mother and tell her: "I hate
you!" and stomp away. The mother's face wrenched in great pain.
Her eyes filled with the Terror of her son's cruelty to her,
eviscerating a part of her soul in that violent moment of both
physical and emotional abuse.
Then the past looms up in my mind.
I am swept back thirty years to Vietnam where I see the eyes of the
children in villages that were destroyed. They looked at us with
"dead eyes." They saw us, perhaps as the Iraqi children
do, as people who come to destroy rather than build, to Terrorize
rather Sentinelize their future rights.
Terror: Chechen relatives hold pictures of their loved ones who
scan the news each morning I am often greeted with pictures from
tragedies not unlike what I experienced at the World Trade Center on
Nine Eleven. The faces of the victims of the Russian
subway suicide bombing show the emptiness of the human soul.
Their eyes are those of the Terrorized, vacant, as though the Beast of
Terror himself vacuumed away all their Spirit of Life, embalming them
with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
To deny the presence of Terrorism in
our lives, however dispatched we seek to be from it, is an act of
personal Complacency. If we are truly Vigilant
people we guard ourselves to not act as a Terrorist, to not inflict
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency upon others.
checking your tongue - don't be a Terrorist
check our tongues and instead of saying what we think or feel that may
be hurtful to others, we clip our tongue, pause, rephrase, or quickly
apologize for any damage we might have caused. But, if we
issue words or perform acts of Terror upon others, in many cases it is
too late. The damage has been done. Our apology may be, at
the least, a Band-Aide. If nothing else, it warns us, the
Terrorist of word or deed, to be more cautious the next time.
Still, the victim of the Terrorism suffers the scars of our actions or
When I look for Terror Eyes, it is a
reminder to me that the Beast of Terror walks among us.
I try not to cower over that fact, or feel helpless because of his
presence. Instead, it only reminds me to keep my grip on my
Sword of Vigilance, to hoist my Shield of Vigilance as high as
possible so that I do not play into the Beast of Terror's hands, and
use my actions or tongue to further his cause of lowering the human
condition into a writhing mass of emotional Jell-o, his soul smashed
into the pavement by the trouncing heels of humanity in his headlong
rush to get what it seeks at all expense.
It is dangerous, of course, to dwell on
Terrorism without recognizing the ability to defend one's self against
That's why I created for myself, and all
others who seek to improve their lives, the Pledge of Vigilance.
Its primary goal is to help me see life through a bright lens rather
than one blocked by the grime and grist of human frailty, of human
selfishness, of human violence of both Emotional and Physical nature.
Many of us
feel we are life's punching bags
I could easily
be nothing more than victim of life's cruelty, just an old crumpled
can that people kick on the streets of life to get it out of their way
as they hustle and bustle toward their own fulfilling desires.
Many of us feel we are life's punching bags.
No matter what we do, or hard we try, it seems we do not move an inch
forward, but rather are shoved two feet back. Our shoulders tire
trying to push Sisyphus's rock up the mountain, only to have it roll
all the way down when it nears the crest.
Then, our eyes become dull. We are
spent candles, with worn-out wicks, gasping faintly to stay lit.
Vigilance can brighten the Candle of Life.
When we see someone with Terror Eyes, we look upon that person as an
extension of us, and ask, "What can I do to be more Vigilant in my
life? What can I do to have Vigilant Eyes, eyes that are alive
with hope, that are sparked by Courage, Conviction and driven by Right
Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children, instead of
being dulled and glazed by Fear, Intimidation and Complacency?
This is a big question.
what you are doing to protect yourself and your loved ones from
It forces us
to recognize that Terrorism exists. And, it forces us to
ask: "What am I doing to protect myself and my loved ones from
Sadly, Terrorism can attack us at any
time, especially when we least expect it. We can get a
phone call at work and find that our children have been harmed at
school. We can walk into the office and find a pink slip on our
desk. We can count on someone helping us out financially,
only at the last minute to have that help jerked out from under us.
We can be walking down the street with our dog and fall onto the
street and be electrocuted by a faulty Con-Edison manhole cover (which
recently happened in New York City.)
We can have someone say
something to us that drives a spike into our hearts and hopes and
Unless we are prepared for the
presence of the Beast of Terror, he will attack with no warning.
He will leave us screaming in painful anguish: "We're all going
to die. We're all going to die!"
He will graft Terror Eyes into
Being a Sentinel of Vigilance
protects us from such a disaster to our well-being, and the well-being
of those we love.
By taking the Pledge of
Vigilance, and subscribing to the Vow of Vigilance each day to combat
Fear with Courage, to exercise Conviction against Intimidation, and to
seek to do the Right Actions for future generations rather than fall
Complacent, powerless, against the odds, we can counter the Beast of
Terror whenever he rears his ugly head.
If we practice the Art of Vigilance,
we clip our tongues and brace ourselves to be aware that the
unexpected can happen, and that our role as Sentinels of Vigilance is
to act with responsibility--to not be infected with Terror Eyes.
We will only know the importance of
this when we go back into our own lives and think through how many
times we have been frozen with Terror. How many times have
we stood or sat feeling drained of our self-worth, feeling powerless,
feeling hurt and crushed by the acts or actions of others? How
many times have we felt the Venetian blinds close over our eyes, and a
dull emptiness overwhelm us, making us feel as though we were nothing,
non-existent, worthless rubble?
We don't have to feel that way any more,
not if we become Sentinels of Vigilance. We can change
that feeling on the spot. We can convert the sense of Terrorism
and spark our Terror Eyes back to life with the Vow of Vigilance.
We can seek to find Courage, Conviction and take Right Actions in the
wake of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
I remember my experience at Ground
Zero on Nine Eleven. I pulled the three women into
the wall of the building to protect them, and as they cried, "We're
all going to die! We're all going to die!" I said in as soothing
a Voice as possible: "If we're going to die, then think of
something beautiful. Let our last thoughts be of something
Dim the eyes
of the Beast of Terror and become a Sentinel of Vigilance
I don't know
where those words came from. I can only suppose they were
given to me by the Sentinels of Vigilance, by those countless
thousands who died that day. They left us a legacy, I
believe, of fighting Terrorism with Vigilance. They
made my Terror Eyes that day spark into Vigilant Eyes. They surely
dimmed the exultant eyes of the Beast of Terror.
They can do the same for you.
The only price you have to pay is to become
a Sentinel of Vigilance, to take the Pledge of Vigilance and remind
yourself to keep your guard up against the unexpected.
And, to pass your Vigilance onto others by
If you're not convinced of the importance
of taking the Pledge, stand on a corner and watch the faces of people
passing by. When you see someone with Terror Eyes, remember the
old expression: "There, but for the Grace of God, go I."
Feb. 6--How Children
Wash Clean The Beast Of Terror