The Beast of Terror is like the sea, surging in and out against the
shores of Vigilance, seeking to sweep them away, to rot the
foundations of Vigilance, to undermine one's resolve to "Stand Up For
Future Generations." Find out how declivity and acclivity,
the ups and downs of life, can help you build a Wall of Vigilance
against Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
1, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 596
The Declivity of Terrorism vs.
Acclivity of Vigilance
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, NEW YORK, NY--Terrorism lives. It
ebbs and floods throughout history, but like the tides, it is never
still. It is in a state of declivity or acclivity, and unless we are
willing to accept its omnipotence in our lives and our children’s
lives, and their Children’s Children’s Children’s lives, it can sweep
us out to sea like an angry rip tide.
As a wordsmith, I’m constantly amazed at the multitudinous ways
to describe things. In respect to Terrorism, two words leapt out of
the dictionary to best illustrate the constant surge of Terrorism in
our lives, and throughout history. Those words are “declivity” and
"Devil's Slope" in Russia
Declivity means a
downward slope. Its roots come from Latin with “de” referring to
“(away) from,” plus “clivis” for slope. Its opposite is “acclivity,”
or upward slope.
As with all words, there is no place in between, no “level
playing field.” Terrorism is either on the rise or decline, but it
doesn’t just stop. It doesn’t go in and out of existence. It cannot
be expunged from life.
an upward slope=Terrorism on the rise
In our rush to seek answers to
removing Terrorism from our lives, we all would like to take an erase
and eradicate the word and its meaning from both present and future
times. That would mean we would automatically erase the meaning of
Terrorism, that we would also remove from existence Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency, the elements of Terrorism.
That’s not likely to happen.
Like the tides, Terrorism is here to stay, but it can be
Humans were once battered by the seas. The tides surged, and
angry waves tormented the shores along coastal cities, often flooding
towns and devastating harbors. So humans put their heads together and
came up with a plan to control the wrath of Poseidon.
We call the solution today, “seawalls.”
must be maintained
Seawalls are structures
placed as barriers against the heaving thrust of ocean waves. They
are composed of rocks embedded deep in the seafloor, stacked up like
floors of a giant skyscraper that erupt above the surface to form a
castle wall against the ocean’s Terror.
Waves that once battered the shore, ripping away the sand and
foundations for structures nestled near the water’s edge, were
emasculated by the sea wall. Giant sheets of water splayed skyward
as they smashed against the rocks, unable to drive their force through
No longer were the people on the shoreline threatened. No
longer did they live in fear that one day a great storm might sweep
their homes and livelihoods away, or flood their communities with such
force that nothing but twigs, sand and rocky rubble were left.
Instead of living in the Declivity of Terrorism, they now
happily enjoyed the Acclivity of Vigilance. They were on the upper
slope, protected by the Sentinel of Vigilance Seawall who stood
between them and the unexpected Terror of the sea.
However, they could not become Complacent.
Each pounding wave battering the wall loosened a rock here or
there. The endless surges of the tides gnawed at the sand around the
seawall’s foundation. Rain and wind pelted at the structure, aging
If the humans became Complacent, there was a good chance the
seawall might weaken. The once great rocks standing guard against the
tyrant of the sea might give way to the great power of the sea and the
wall fall. To avoid such destruction, humans stood Vigil over the
wall, continually maintaining it, checking for weaknesses, shoring up
any injury with more rocks and always aware that the sea was like a
teetering rock poised on the tip of a needle, eager to fall at any
Skiers understand this phenomena of nature. They are
constantly aware of the danger of an avalanche, which is nothing more
than the declivity of millions of pounds of snow roaring down. Like
the sea, which may appear calm and peaceful one moment, the pristine
beauty of the snowy mountain can change in a blink, turning into
mountainous Terrorism to all those who live below, who roost in its
residents are not swept away by the Terror of an Avalanche
Over centuries, people
who live in the Alps and other snow-laden parts of the world have
learned to coexist in the shadow of nature’s Terrorism. The Swiss
and others who make their homes in avalanche areas carefully construct
their homes in the shape of wedges, with the part of the structure
facing the potential avalanche cut into shape of a “V.” They dig
deep foundations and build their homes with great logs, carefully
selected for their ability to withstand terrible pressure.
When nature’s anger is unleashed, and sides of mountains slip
and rage downward in declivitous madness, their homes are braced like
the prows of great ships to cut through the rush of snow. The
architecture, learned over centuries of survival, allows the
resident’s homes to not be swept down the hill, and the thick heavy
beams are so well built that all the stress and pressure of millions
of pounds of snow slides off the surface, as though it were oiled.
Such people live in the acclivity of Terrorism, for they
know that Terrorism and Vigilance can coexist if one is ready for it,
if one “expects the unexpected.”
That brings us to the point. Where are you regarding
Terrorism? Are you living in its “declivity” or “acclivity?”
This is a vital question for anyone in today’s world since we
all live near the Sea and Mountain of Terrorism. At any moment
Terrorism’s avalanche may descend upon us, or, its waves smash upon
was an example of Terrorism's rage
Nine Eleven was
an example of Terrorism’s rage. It came unexpectedly, out of the
sky, falling upon thousands like locust. For those of us who
survived, it was a wake up call, a reminder that none of us is exempt
from either Nature’s or Terrorism’s wrath, and, to alert us all that
we have a duty and responsibility to protect ourselves and our
children from the unexpected.
Seawalls and Alps cabins are not built just for the present.
Their architects design them for at least three generations or more,
to last essentially forever. They took a page out of the Roman
architects book—“If it won’t last forever, don’t build it.” In Rome
today, aqueducts built more than 2,000 years ago are still in use,
serving an example of how one must think if he or she wishes to be
Vigilance is about building seawalls for
the future generations. It is about protecting not just
ourselves from the wrath of the Beast of Terror, but more importantly,
the Children's Children's Children.
Alpine homes are built for future generations
in the Alps are not designed for just one family's safety when the
great mountains of snow hurl down in angry fists ready to smash all
things in their way with total disregard. They are built for
future generations. The effort put into Vigilance must not
be limited to the present, for if it is, the defenses against
Terrorism will be shallow and easily ripped apart after the first few
Left to protecting just ourselves, we
may find our Courage weakens as the pain and torment of Fear's torture
becomes unbearable. We may find ourselves, like many
prisoners of war, unable to bear the suffering and capitulate to the
Beast to save our own lives. But, when we think about protecting
our children, when we place ourselves outside our selfish needs and
desires, and we rise above our own greeds and needs, we suddenly
become far more tolerant to Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
If we were being tortured and told if
we broke down our children would be killed, and their children killed,
we might find a strength we had not imagined possible. Our
constitution might erect itself with such power as to turn the pain
and suffering we endure into a state of numbness. Our resolve to
defy the Beast of Terror might be so magnified because of our
selflessness that our tormentor could not even make us whimper with
the worst of all violations of our flesh.
Deep Roots of
Vigilance are needed to survive the Beast of Terror
Deep Roots of Vigilance to survive the Beast of Terror's declivitous
nature. That's why we must think of Vigilance in terms of
Courage to overcome Fear, Conviction to cripple Intimidation, and
Right Actions in behalf of the Children's Children's Children to
If we are Architects of Vigilance,
willing to build a world as Terror-Free as possible for future
generations, we must be willing to see the upward slope, the acclivity
of Vigilance. We must see that our efforts, however small and
seemingly insignificant, when combined with countless other efforts of
the same small size, can create great boulders, giant rocks that can
form a Seawall of Vigilance against the surging Tides of Terrorism.
Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency can be held back by Sentinels of Vigilance when they link
their arms together and stand as one body against it.
But it all starts with you and
The great journey, they say,
begins with the first step. It continues forward when,
after being tripped or stumbling, or becoming lost, we regain our
footing and trudge forward in spite of ourselves, in spite of our
Fears, our Intimidations and Complacencies.
And, it is never too late to
There are those of us who may
think we have been beaten to the pulp, nailed to the cross so many
times we are hopeless to muster the Courage, Conviction and take the
Right Actions necessary for the safety of future generations.
This isn't true.
Any of us can shed the Beast of
Terror's scales any time we chose to. It requires only that we
take the Pledge of Vigilance, and Vow of Vigilance. When
we admit to ourselves that we are no longer fighting for ourselves,
but for the future of generations to come, we can rise above the
suffering which may have made us think we were hopeless.
may be the last straw that breaks the Beast of Terror's back
Even if our
last breath is an act of Vigilance, that act alone may be the final
straw that breaks the Beast of Terror's back. None of us will
ever know how powerful we can be until we exercise that power, and
combine it with others like us.
But we do know one thing for
sure. To not do anything, to ignore the Beast of Terror, or
refuse to fight it, is an act of declivity. It is an act
of selfishness. It is an act of Complacency.
Winston Churchill said, "Stand
for Something or be Nothing!"
You can stand for Something of
You can stand for the Acclivity
All you need to do is take the
Pledge of Vigilance.
And then, to the best of your
ability, try to live by it.
30--The Family Circle Of Vigilance
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