Our Gift to The World

"Those who learn from their mistakes own the tools of wisdom. Those who do the same thing over and over and expect different results are just stupid."

Okay, I did not vote for George Bush. Quite frankly he scared the hell out of me. I am, however, warming up to his moment of leadership but concerned about the potentials that exist in the direction of that leadership. The vision and sincerity he has shown during this time of national disaster is not only attractive but causal in the support he has created almost universally. I give him full credit for pulling the country together. His responses are a result of his communication.

I am warming also to the idea of compassionate conservatism but find I am differing in my definition of that phrase. For me it is not about abortion, health care or Star Wars but about people. It's about recognizing and accepting a simple truth: that we are responsible for the world we have created, good or bad. Years ago I was taught that the responses we get to our actions are a direct consequence of the messages we send, both personally and governmentally. That is, in the final analysis, no one can be responsible for our results other than ourselves.

Terrorism of the sort we are now experiencing is a result of how we have been in the world. We have made our mistakes and denial might make us feel better for the moment but it won't fix it. Now we merely have to pay the price of those mistakes. America has the opportunity now to change the content of that message as perhaps never before. The feedback we receive from the world will tell us how successful we will be.

I would suggest that there are two possible wars to be fought here. One it appears, unfortunately, must be military in nature. But there is another opportunity here also. Let's send two kinds of bombs to Afghanistan and Iraq. First let's "bomb" the daylights out of the population centers and long lines of those poor people who really bear the cost of war with tons of blankets, boots, cloth, food, medical supplies, clean water, hay and feed for the donkey's which are the main form of transportation in that part of the world. Then, if we must, do the highly targeted destruction of the bases and training camps known to be terrorist centers and destroy the infrastructure, munitions and equipment necessary to make war.

Let us do the work of Allah, God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Mohammed, Christ, Buddha, whoever serves up the message of humanity to case you haven't noticed it's all the same message...and send the bountiful riches we have created to those who can truly use it. Let the world see a side of America that we readily share with our fallen brothers and sisters but all to often replace in the world outside with bullying arrogance and self-righteous self-interest. Let us respond to militant terrorism with compassionate terrorism. Let us truly turn darkness into light.

Or we can fall back on the "proven" methods of the ages of retaliation and revenge and reap the same results...more of the same. For once, let us test the outrageous and radical idea that we can learn from history. As I have heard a number of times in the past few days, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth leaves us all blind and toothless."

© 2007, Kenneth F. Byers

Other Transition Issues, Books

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A permanent state of transition is man's most noble condition. - Juan Ramon Jimenez

Ken Byers holds a Ph.D. in psychology with an emphasis in Men's Studies, one of the few ever awarded in the U.S. Ken is a full time Certified Professional Life Coach specializing in working with men in any form of transition and an instructor of design at San Francisco State University.

His books, "Man In Transition" and "Who Was That Masked man Anyway" are widely acknowledged as primers for men seeking deeper knowledge of creating awareness and understanding of the masculine way. More information on Ken, his work and/or subscription information to the weekly "Spirit Coach" newsletter which deals with elements of the human spirit in short commentary, check the box at or or or E-Mail You are welcome to share any of Ken's columns with anyone without fee from or to him but please credit to the author. Ken can be reached at: 415.239.6929.

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