by Paul Von Ward
My mind and limbs were like water. The cries and moans of the dying
and wounded reverberated throughout my cells. A part of my own being
seemed to perish with each soul's departure. While one part of me was
fighting to express its anger at the deaths and wounds of friends and
former colleagues, their names not yet known in both cities, another
was feeling the anguish and emptiness that their relatives will experience
when they get the news.
At the same time I felt a different sharpness cut through me, the source
being another form of soul pain--the level of despair that causes one
to maim and kill a fellow human. My whole being was a microcosm of the
self-inflicted pain members of our species inflict on others.
All my adult life when I have mentioned my birthday, I have said I
was born along with World War II, as Hitler invaded Poland in September
1939 and Britian and France had to declare war on Germany in the defense
of the free world. From that date the world changed forever. From now
on my 62nd birthday will mark another date of the world shifting directions.
We have no idea where it will end and what global society will be like
when the consequences of the principle of cause and effect work their
way throughout the human race. The direction it takes will be the legacy
this generation leaves to the next.
We now must recognize that the world is one place, that all humans
are one family, that no country can be independent of others, and that
when the world is finally safe for one it will be safe for all. The
academic discussions of interdependence has now been made real; everyone
in the world is within two or three relationships of at least one person
who lives or works in New York City or Washington, DC. When some of
us are harmed all of us are hurt. The new direction the world takes
must deal with this reality. Conscious humans everywhere will work to
keep this reality in our full awareness.
As we seek justice, as we seek understanding, as we seek revenge, as
we seek forgiveness, and as we seek the path to a better future, let
us remember that whatever we do consciously and energetically will come
back to us many-fold. As we do unto others, so we do unto ourselves.
That which we reap one day is the result of that which we have sown
on a previous day. May we be filled with love and compassion for all
those who were wounded or died, and for their famiiles, for giving us
another opportunity to make a different choice for our collective future
than we have exercised in the past.
To honor the dead we must strive to create a world in which justice
and peace are the birthright of all people, and in which the many are
not left needy due to the way some of us live. To be truly human we
must rise above the emotions that divide, accept our part of the responsibility
for the whole and learn from today how to create a better tomorrow.
Paul Von Ward
Reprinted with permission