Thursday... January 24, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 135
Victory Gardens Or...
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
ZERO--New York City--Jan. 24--On my recent trip to Montana,
I picked up some vital information about fighting Terrorism.
It cost $4.95..
the Farmer's Almanac Survival Guide. The subtitle is "For
City and Country Folk--When Terror Strikes."
Poor Richard's Almanac,
originally published by Ben Franklin, was loaded with common-sense
details about how to make life as simple and unencumbered as
possible. The Farmer's Almanac, published here in New
York City, is stuffed full of 21st Century information on how
to survive disasters in modern times.
Glancing through the book, you
might think people were stupid. Obviously, those
who live in the cities and metropolitan areas are when it comes
to eking out an existence. They are used to concrete
walls, cars, taxis, take out food, elevators, electricity, and
a highly leveraged mortgage to provide shelter for their heads.
Few have Victory Gardens.
Fewer know what they are.
A Victory Garden was a
form of pronouncing one's self-sufficiency during World War
II. Many items were rationed during the war, and
there was a pulse beating through America that all were responsible
for their own care and maintenance. At the time, government
wasn't an udder upon which society sucked, or at least, it had
fewer teats and far less promised milk.
Victory Gardens were small
or large gardens people maintained to supply themselves with
their own food in case supplies failed on the normal retail
circuit. The gardens also provided each citizen
with a sense of support for the war effort by becoming independent,
self-reliant. Children participated in the planting, nurturing,
weeding, and harvesting of various foods from their own personal
gardens. Democracy, the right of privacy in your
own castle, heightened as people became less dependent on the
"outer world" and more on their own "inner world."
In the big cities, Victory
Gardens grew also. Apartment dwellers grew in planter
boxes various types of foods that could help sustain them if
a shortage occurred. A patio or fire escape became
a self-sustaining garden of independence, and while not able
to rival the farmland variety, the sense of pride and individualism
that went with the planter box garden was just as strong and
proud as the citizens who could dedicate an acre or two to their
I thought about the
need for Americans to return to the principle of the "Victor
Gardens." Wrapped in that package was not just
the growing of your own food, but a deeper charge to be responsible
for your family yourself, and to not rely on government or others
for ultimate protection. The Victory Garden
concept cut the apron strings between citizens and government.
same ideology applies to the Vigilance Garden. It
is absolutely critical that all citizens in America and the
world take total responsibility for the safety of their homes,
their belongings, and the lives of their children and loved
ones. Food, water and shelter top the list in disastrous
War II, and post-September 11, society has become entwined with
expectations that the government--the police, the military,
social security, the civil rights movement, endowments and entitlements--would
provide resources for anyone in need. The Farmers
Almanac makes it clear that in disastrous times, it is every
man and woman for himself and herself. The ill-prepared
will be trampled by the reality of the situation.
I saw that
reality come to life at Ground Zero. When the Twin Towers
collapsed, people screamed and ran and pushed and shoved.
It was the primal instinct to survive that rose to the occasion.
Certainly, there were heroes who cast aside their own self-preservation
and risked it for others, but the mass of humanity ducked and
weaved and ran and dived to save themselves. That's why
over 25,000 people escaped harm that day. They didn't
wait to be led out by a guide--they bolted.
Ultimately, those who wait for the government to provide the
security for their lives wait for a "hand-out."
Similarly, those who expect the government to inject "vigilance"
into their lives will starve. Only by growing a
Vigilance Garden will the fruits of protection ripen for each
individual, each family.
soil in must be free of the weeds and rocks that choke new growth.
A Vigilance Garden farmer will first extract the rocks of "fear."
Fear is the shadow of the unknown. It blocks out sunlight.
It stunts growth.
Terrorism isn't the
act of Terror that is its ultimate target, but the "fear"
it imposes on the survivors that they might suffer from it at
some time in the future. To rid the Vigilance Garden
of "fear" we address it for what it is--an enemy that
tried to shut out the sun. Whether it be the fear
of Terrorists, or the fear of not being liked enough, or pretty
enough, or smart enough--fear is only an acronym for False Evidence
Appearing Real. To remove it, we face its
falsity. We fight it with its opposite--Courage.
We muster the courage to stand up to our fears, looking them
in the face, and realizing that their only purpose is to delimit
us, to depreciate our right to happiness, to shrink our self
Next, we hunt
for the weeds of Intimidation. Terrorism seeks to make
us cower and shrink away from our duty and responsibility to
stand up to it. "Oh, what can we do against
Terrorism," is an intimidation statement. It supposes
we are helpless, inept, unable to protect ourselves from Terrorism
of all forms and shapes.
for Intimidation is Conviction. We take a vow--a
Pledge of Vigilance--to not bend to the winds of our fears.
We fight thoughts that suggest or imply we are "lesser
than" or "greater than" others, and confirm our
convictions we have the right and the gift of freedom to be
who want to be, and that no one, no critic of our personality
or looks or ethnicity or religious viewpoint, has the right
to demean, debase or threaten us. Conviction is
the knowledge in our hearts we are as worthy as the next individual,
and that no one can take that worthiness away--not a bin Laden
or a person who says: "Ah, you're ugly."
Or, "you don't deserve that...you're a nobody."
we can plant the seeds of Vigilance in our garden, there is
one remaining weed that must be pulled. It is Complacency.
This is the most insidious of all, for it presumes that someone
else is responsible for the protection of our home, our
neighborhood, our state, our nation. Complacency
is the disease of ignorance. It allows us to pass the
buck to another--to blame them for our problems, to issue them
complaints for our lack of education, our lack of money, our
lack of prosperity. "If only THEY had
done....if only THEY would listen....if only THEY
is inaction. It is the weed that strangles our power to
act. To rip out the weed of Complacency we must assume
the responsibility to protect ourselves from ourselves.
We must rid the "They" from our thoughts. We
must take the action to assure our physical and emotional security,
just as we lock the door at night, or get up to go to the bathroom.
We cannot wait for things to happen.
To assure a ripe and productive
garden of Vigilance, we take action by becoming involved in
our own future, in our own destiny. We don't sit and wait.
We start by taking the
Pledge of Vigilance. We vow to fight fear with courage,
intimidation with conviction, and complacency with action.
Gardens were originally designed to grow the fruits of freedom.
Gardens will preserve and protect them from Terrorism's weeds.
To Daily Diary, Jan. 23--GROUND ZERO--192,960 MINUTES LATER
- 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved - a ((HYYPE))