Friday.. January 25, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 13
The Secret Terror
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
FIC is an ugly word.
Say it a few times. FIC! FIC!
It feels ugly, doesn’t it? A little creepy. If not,
say it again a few times.
FIC! FIC! FIC!
Think of fungus when you say it. Think of something cold
and dank; something haunting, insidious.
FIC is the acronym for FEAR-INTIMIDATION-COMPLACENCY.
FIC is Terrorism's ally. It lives deep inside every
human being, a kind of primal protectorate that weakens our
self-will, that hammers at us when it leaps out of the shadows
and shatters our sense of security, and drives us into a corner
where we cower and huddle, fearful of its fangs.
Animals know FIC well. A dog that is beaten by its
owner cowers and wets itself when the owner raises his or her
hand. Children shrink from their parents when parents
raise their Voices, or threaten the children with violence,
or tell them they aren't worthy, or they are unwanted,
or molest them.
A frightened employee scurries to do the bidding of a boss who
threatens him or her with being fired if he or she doesn't do
the boss' bidding..
A citizen gets chills when the Internal Revenue Service sends
a letter demanding an audit.
A teenage girl hides in the bathroom stall at school crying
when she overhears other girls talking about her weight, or
pimples or lack of social standing in the "popular circles."
The head of a household cringes when the bank statement comes
because there isn't enough money to buy all the food, pay the
rent, pay down the debt that has been accumulated.
FIC! FIC! FIC!
It is the primal disease of men and women. Fear
freezes us up, making us feel helpless, powerless over
people, places and things. It sucks us into the Black
Hole of inaction. We feel as though one foot is
nailed to the floor, and all we can do is walk in a circle,
wearing a rut out in the floor.
the strongest among us. Presidents of the United
States exposed in a lie are crippled by the truth.
Some resign, some are censured. FIC can cut
the legs off the strongest, most bold and courageous among us.
Being told you have cancer or some life-threatening disease
can smash through all one's walls of emotional fortitude and
drive you to your knees in tears, worrying that your life will
end, that the joys and thrills and spills of living have vanished.
Hate, Resentment often rise out of the ashes of FIC to create
a defense against its attack, and serve only to blind us, and
bury us in our self-absorbed fears of helplessness.
and Internal Terrorism feed on FIC, as the fungus feeds on the
dead, the dying, the decaying. It is a leech, sucking
our élan vital, poisoning our Hope, our Beliefs in Life.
bin Laden and others like him use FIC as their primary weapon.
They strike fear into the hearts of their victims, hoping that
the fallout of the fear will cripple their enemies into submission.
parent does the same as bin Laden to a child when he or she
treats the child as chattel, berating it, threatening it, abusing
boss seeing only the bottom line and not the humanness of employees
railroads over their emotions, firing and hiring bodies to the
"job" done without consideration that human feelings
can do more than commands or orders.
A society falls
in line behind a demand to "kill the enemy" without
thinking it through, assuming that the death of the "bad
guy" will resolve the threats to its security, will return
the land to a "safe zone."
All human beings
own the feelings of fear, intimidation and complacency.
They are part of our chemistry, the yang of the yin, the poles
of our good sides, the elasticity of our emotional make-up.
We neither need to be ashamed or frightened by their existence,
for they appear as reminders, stimuli for us to shift them around,
to alter their dominance, to grow, to evolve above them.
They are the fuel of human greatness, for the more distance
we put between the FIC feelings and the actions we take as a
result dictate our ability to extend our humanness, to rise
above the salt.
11th brought FIC to the forefront of our society.
laid it on our doorstep in the form of death, destruction and
the future threat of more to come.
the presence of FIC brought with it tools to combat our human
in the package of Terrorism a gift--the gift of CoConA--Courage,
Conviction and Action.
without its opposite. Existence is the presence
of a Plus and Minus competition with one another.
We call lit gravity. Atoms have plus and minus charges.
They move as a result of the energy created between the push
and pull of the Plus and Minus. Soft things are
the result of loosely packed atoms. Hard things are tightly
FIC is the
tightly packed atoms of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
Ultimately, if we let them ravage us, we turn into rocks of
inaction--immobilized, frozen, or stuck in a world where there
seems no hope, where the sun doesn't rise, where darkness sucks
out of us all the energy to live, or fight for what is right.
Complacency the final form of Fear, is the resignation we can
do nothing as individuals, and we hand over our future to others
in hopes they might view our security in the same light as we
do, and not generalize it, or compromise it with deals or policies
that ultimately rip away our freedoms, our rights.
Today, citizens of
America who rely on the government solely to resolve Terrorism
are complacent. They feel powerless to act.
They have a sense of emasculation about how to act in their
best interests to quell the future threats of a Nine Eleven.
Their atoms of Action
are frozen by their beliefs they are but a grain of sand on
But that's not the
truth. The truth is that we all have options, choices,
abilities to combat Terrorism that we haven't tapped.
CoConA is one of
them. If we have Courage, Conviction and are
willing to take Action we can fight Terrorism at our doorsteps.
We can tackle the beast in our homes by realizing that Terrorism
feeds on our Fears, our Intimidations and our Complacencies.
We can look inside
ourselves and ferret out those feelings that reside inside our
beings by standing up to them in how we treat our children,
our wives and husbands, our neighbors, our fellow citizens,
and most importantly, how we view ourselves.
If we stand in front
of the mirror and take a personal inventory of ourselves, we
see either a great human being or a loser disguised as one.
We can see failure or success, beauty or ugliness, hope or dismay,
growth of ourselves or more decay of our self image.
Courage begins in
the mirror. If we see the man or woman we want to
be in the mirror, and we have the Conviction to believe it is
possible to grow into that person, then we become willing to
take the Action necessary to convert ourselves to the next level
of evolution of the self. Conversely, if we see
the same person we have always been, and feel hopeless about
making any changes to what we see, we are dead. Our chances
of alteration of our selves die in a sea of Complacency.
Terrorism of the self has won. And if it wins inside
us, it has won outside. The bin Laden's of the world have
become victorious. For the next time we are attacked,
we will cower again, we will abdicate our right to fight for
what is right.
I believe the good
of Nine Eleven was the forcing of our FIC to the surface of
America's consciousness. In the moments after the
attacks, we grew strong and bold as one body, realizing that
to fight Terrorism we could not be alone. It would
require a whole society, not just part of it, to form a wall
of protection around our children--the core of any society.
During those first
few hours and days of the disaster, the government was helpless.
The people were in charge. We bonded as one.
We grew by shouldering next to one another, forming a dam that
kept FIC at bay. We hoisted the heroes of Nine Eleven
onto pedestals. We saw human sacrifice at its finest,
and threw honor and glory at its symbols.
Now, as we enter the fifth
month following the attack, we face the decision of whether
we have learned anything from it, or, whether it was just a
piece of horrible history. Those who look at Nine
Eleven as a lesson, have begun to bolster themselves for the
next attack on America's security. They are addressing
FIC and replacing it with CoConA of various sizes, forms and
But those who haven't sought
the lesson of Nine Eleven are naked. They are still
dazed by the FIC of it all. And will continue to walk
in blindness until they are jolted out of it by some event,
or action that threatens them again. And maybe even that
won't jar the nail from their foot.
is that everyone read the Pledge of Vigilance, and what it means
to the evolution of our society. If every citizen
takes the Pledge, then FIC will be relegated to its lowest level
in our thinking, and the actions that we take will be of the
highest order. We will live then with Courage, Conviction
and Action as the dominant priorities of our lives, and pass
those three Shields of Vigilance onto our children to reduce
their vulnerability to threats of Terrorism either Within or
I believe the hue
and cry of our commitment should be Semper Vigilantes--Always
Vigilant. If we make this part of vocabulary, part of
our daily thinking, part of our daily living, we will be prepared
for anything that comes our way.
We will, by adopting
Semper Vigilantes, become our own Sentinels of Vigilance, and
then FIC will shrink away to hide behind some rock because we
have exposed Terrorism for what it is--the throwback to human
To Daily Diary, Jan. 24--GROWING A VICTORY OR VIGILANCE GARDEN