is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong;
and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
The tragedy that has fallen upon our nation has
placed world leaders, and individuals alike, into the uneasy position of
uncharted territory. There are no models, strategies or manuals,
no one to turn to with detailed procedures as to where we go from here.
How are we to respond to such an unconscionable act carried out by
faceless perpetrators resulting in unimaginable losses? How do our
leaders balance the anger of a nation with the most sophisticated
arsenal of military power that the world has ever known? History
has shown us that there are no "pat", predetermined answers to
these questions. There are only our choices that result from what
we know and believe to be true, information that changes by the hour.
In the aftermath of the last hours and days, the magnitude of what has
happened is surpassed only by the uncertainty of what comes next. This,
by far, is the greatest fear that I have heard expressed. The events
that have unfolded leave us at a particularly perilous crossroads
teetering between our emotions of outrage and the need for retribution
and a longing for reason. What are we to "do" next?
What we must bear in mind is that the choices made in the next hours and
days will set the course of human history for generations to come.
The magnitude of the events within the last days has opened a deep wound
in the consciousness of our nation and the civilized world; a void that
seeks to be filled quickly, to balance the emptiness. Whatever rushes in
to fill the void of our nation's loss will set the stage for events of
lasting consequences and irreversible effects. Do we fill the void with
an overwhelming display of force and power to quell the pain of a
grieving nation, or do we fill the void with the measured response of a
nation demonstrating to the world that we have truly entered an
unprecedented era of dealing with conflict through new and innovative
Albert Einstein stated that the problems of our world cannot be solved
with the same thinking that created the problems to begin with. The
events of September 11, 2001 may well represent the first opportunity in
the new millennium for the most powerful nation in the history of the
earth to demonstrate to the world that there is another way to deal with
those who oppose our ideals of peace and freedom. The choices that we
make as a people will define us as a nation and lay the foundation of
global policies for generations to come.
What Do We Do?
Clearly, there is nothing that can justify the unthinkable acts of
tragedy and pre-meditated attacks that have resulted in the loss of so
many lives. Just as clearly, there is nothing that we can do to
any individual or any nation to bring back the immeasurable number of
lives that have been lost.
Our office has been flooded with telephone calls and email messages
asking a simple question: "What do we do?"
I will be the first to state clearly that I do not have "the
answer" to this question. Each individual must find a way to
reconcile the events of the last days in their minds and in their
hearts. Sometimes it helps to break the big problems into
manageable pieces. I offer the following as guidelines only,
in an effort to serve those who have asked for recommendations and
With these ideas in mind, our first actions must be near-term:
1. To care for our own.
-To search for survivors.
-To support our rescue and recovery
teams, our governmental and organizational leaders.
Clearly our nation has been attacked. We must demonstrate that not only
has the attack failed to fragment our country, it has melded our nation
into a unified force of support and solidarity.
-To take the necessary precautions to secure
our nation in the presence of the very real threat of additional
2. To choose our response wisely and responsibly
-To understand that the policies of
"globalization" have melded us into a global family. The
choices made over the next days and weeks will affect all people of all
nations and have the potential of lasting consequences for the quality
of life and the future of our world.
-To invoke our power of prayer, a very
real power that quantum science now defines as our ability to
participate in a unified web of energy that links all of creation.
-Through our prayers, empower our leaders
to choose wisely, with the guidance of our creator, for the good of all
people with the long-term vision of a global peace rather than a
short-term goal of balancing an act of terror.
3. Ultimately, to realize that there is no "them" and
We share the same world and there is a "we" - different
aspects of the same conscious body. When the dust has settled,
ultimately, we must look deep within ourselves to know what it is within
ourselves that is mirrored by increasingly greater acts of terror and
destruction. From dysfunctional families, to school shootings, to
acts of terror against the United States on foreign soil, to the attacks
upon our own soil, we are witnessing a pattern of increasingly greater
acts of anger and lack of respect for human life directed toward
Americans. Imposing a military action on the "outside"
does not change the thinking that led to the acts to begin with.
If we have the wisdom to recognize the language of "mirrors,"
we will have witnessed an obvious indication of the need for change.
Though we may each feel as though we are being tested, the oldest texts
of humankind suggest that moments such as this can become less of a test
and more of an opportunity to demonstrate to the world, and to one
another, precisely the kind of people and nation that we have become.
As we consider our response to the tragedies, we must remember that we
are no longer responding alone. Our response will have implications that
reach deep into the hearts and the streets of our closest allies and
most distant neighbors. While a response is certainly warranted, the
world is looking to us, the most powerful nation in the history of the
earth, to temper our response with reason, justice and a consideration
for our global family and collective future.
I invite you to join me in a prayer empowering our leaders with the
wisdom of a greater power as they implement their choices of response.
Utilizing our "lost mode of prayer" identified in the Great
Isaiah Scroll, where we feel as if the outcome has already occurred,
rather than asking for intervention, our prayer may begin as:
In this time of great tragedy, we give thanks for the courage within our
leaders to recognize the difference between the anger in their minds,
the wisdom of their hearts and the courage to act wisely in their
May each leader have the strength to act for the good of all people, in
all nations and our collective future as a global family.
Through this prayer we claim that peace, democracy and human life are
stronger and more enduring than the buildings that symbolize them.
We breathe life into their existence from the dust of hate that is
transformed by our soil.
For these blessings in our lives, we give thanks,
My prayer is that these insights are meaningful to you in your life.
Without doubt, the world changed on September 11, 2001. What remains to
be seen is precisely how the change unfolds.
Many blessings of peace,
Melbourne, Australia 2001