SAVES 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL by
Cliff McKenzie, Editor
ZERO PLUS 1382 DAY--New York, NY, Thursday, June
of Vigilance take many different forms. In Ethiopia, they assume
the shape of a pride of three lions.
The world news reported
that a 12-year-old girl was abducted by a gang of men and held
captive. The kidnappers goal was to force her into marriage.
They beat her repeatedly, seeking her submission. The United
Nations estimates that more than 70% of marriages in Ethiopia
are by abduction, practised in rural areas where the majority
of the country’s 71 million people live.
But then something strange
A pride of three Ethiopian
lions appeared and chased the attackers off.
lions came to the rescue of a twelve-year-old-girl
Then they stood guard
around the girl for a half day until Ethiopian police came to
her rescue. Ethiopia’s lions, famous for their large black
manes, are the country’s national symbol. They adorn statues
and their pictures are used on the local currency. It is estimated
only 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild.
Stuart Williams, a wildlife
expert in the rural development ministry of Kefa province, said
he thought the whimperings of the girl who had been repeatedly
beaten might have resembled the mewing of a lion cub. Her cries
caused the lions to think she was one of theirs, and to come
to her protection.
That's certainly one
The other is that Vigilance
runs through all creatures. This explanation holds that a "Pride
of Vigilance" is ingrained in all creatures, and that in
moments of Terror, it percolates to the surface.
runs through all creatures
When the Beast of Terror
appears and the accompanying pain and anguish that results is
broadcast, Sentinels of Vigilance tune in. They are drawn to
the distress signal. Their Vigilance hackles stiffen.
Who's to say absolutlely,
then, that the three lions in Ethiopia aren't Sentinels of Vigilance?
Humans often treasure
the idea they are the only creatures with the frequency to tune
into moral judgments. They divide the world of morality among
themselves, excluding animals.
When we attribute human
characteristics to animals, we call it personification. We apply
human traits to the "beasts," but with the caveat
they don't "deserve it."
But do they?
There is little doubt
that a 12-year-old girl in Ethiopia considers the saving of
her life by the three lions as an act of "Vigilance."
Perhaps we should have
lions roaming the streets of New York, or Helena, Montana, or
Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and every township in America.
When a parent abused
a child, the lions would prowl around the child's house, roaring
and snarling until the police or neighbors came.
Around churches, the
lions would stalk any clergy who even thought about acting inappropriately
with a child.
In the dark nooks and
crannies of our streets, the lions would walk alongside the
vulnerable, the innocent, baring fangs to let any would-be attacker
know that to endanger the safety of their wards would be immediate
If a parent were to shout
at a child: "I wish you'd never been born," the lion
would swipe a big, sharp claw down the parent's back--a reminder
to not try and kill the spirit of the child or denigrate its
However, if lions were
roaming about we would shoot them.
Instead of seeing them
as Sentinels of Vigilance, we would consider them Beasts of
Terror. SWAT squads would pour from black vans and snipers would
squeeze triggers ending the lions' presence on this earth. Their
heads would be mounted on walls as victory over the wild, a
symbol of man's superiority over nature.
Practically, one wouldn't
urge his or her children or grandchildren to walk up to a lion
and try and hand feed him or her. Over many eons the gap between
man and beast has widened. But also, the gap between the man
and his or her own beast has shrunk.
Today, the fragility
of the human nature to "snap" is of constant concern.
Terrorism is nothing more than the eruption of our Beast of
Terror from within. Like a boil, the pus of Terrorism enflames
and then finally volcanoes out in the form of Emotional or Physical
Terrorism against another.
is the eruption of our Beast Of Terror from within
A parent who abuses a
child, a spouse who hits or spits at another spouse, a politician
who rails that American troops are like Nazis are all Beasts
of Terror in a variety of different forms dancing on a thin
So what do we do.
We can adopt a Lion of
In our minds, we can
imagine the three lions in Ethiopia as our Principles of Vigilance.
One is named Courage, the other Conviction and the third, Right
Action For The Children's Children's Children (RACS for short.)
We walk through live
with Cur(for Courage) and Con (for Conviction) and RACS strolling
at our side. When the Beast of Terror tries to kidnap us as
he did the 12-year-old girl in Ethiopia, instead of surrendering
to the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency of Terrorism, we simply
sic Cur, Con and RACS on the bad guys.
Terrorism will run. Just
as it did in Ethiopia.
More importantly, the
Lions of Vigilance will stay with us.
Lions of Vigilance will stay with us and protect us
The Lions of Vigilance
will protect us. The Pride of Vigilance guards us.
If you want to be a Sentinel
of Vigilance, take the Pledge of Vigilance today.
Adopt Cur, Con and RACS
as your pet guardians. More importantly, pass them down to your
children and loved ones.
Don't walk through life
without the Lions of Vigilance.
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