The VigilanceVoice  

Friday.. January 25, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 13
The Secret Terror Of FIC

Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

FIC is an ugly word.   
            Say it a few times.  FIC!   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.
          FIC attacks 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.
          Anger, 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.
          External 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.
          Osama 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.
          An abusive parent does the same as bin Laden to a child when he or she treats the child as chattel, berating it, threatening it, abusing it.
          A power-hungry 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."
         FIC!  FIC!  FIC!
         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.
          September 11th brought FIC to the forefront of our society.
         The Terrorists laid it on our doorstep in the form of death, destruction and the future threat of more to come.
         Simultaneously, the presence of FIC brought with it tools to combat our human fragility.  
         We received in the package of Terrorism a gift--the gift of CoConA--Courage, Conviction and Action.
         Nothing exists 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 packed atoms.
         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 a beach.
        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 shapes.
      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.
         My suggestion 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 Without.
        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 evolution..


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