Part V of V Legends of
Vigilance. If you haven't read the first four parts, use the
links below to go the ones you haven't read yet. On
this final night, Christmas Eve, the children of the Land of
Prosperity learn how the parts of Vigilance become the whole of
Vigilance. They become the Youngest Sentinels of Vigilance, a
gift that they give themselves and all the Children's Children's
Go to Part I
Go to Part II
Go to Part III
Go to Part IV of V
Wednesday--December 24, 2003—Ground Zero
The Legend Of Christmas
Vigilance--Part V of V
"Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels of Vigilance"
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Dec. 24, 2003 --
It was the Eve of Christmas for many of the children, and the Spirit
of the Holiday for others who embraced different beliefs in the Land
of Prosperity. The children filled the Great Hall with
laughter and giggles, joyously sipping hot chocolate and chewing on
the popcorn balls laced with caramel to hold the white kernel puffs in
of Vigilance called the children for another story
of Vigilance Chair
The Sentinel of Vigilance sat in his
wondrous redwood chair, the polished grains of the wood hundreds of
years old glistening as the firelight danced over its surface like
magic elves celebrating Christmas Eve and the end of a long year of
preparing toys and joy for the children of the world.
Twirling his long white beard,
speckled with gray, the Sentinel beckoned the children to fall silent
as he spoke. They nestled cross-legged next to one another
around him on the wooden oak floor, leaning forward as they munched on
the popcorn balls and took little slurping sips of the steaming
gift of Vigilance banished the Beast..."
"Tonight, we talk about the greatest gift
of Vigilance the Stranger gave the people of the Land of Poverty.
That gift changed forever their way of life. It banished the
Beast of Terror and all his Fear, Intimidation and Complacency,
replacing it with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the
Children's Children's Children. Those children, Little Ones, are
you, your brothers and sisters, your cousins, your friends.
Look around, Little Ones, at the great gift of happiness that came to
you that night."
The children looked at their friends.
Some hugged, others shook hands. Their eyes were alive,
gleaming in the firelight. Their tummies were full, their cheeks
rosy. Around the room stood and sat the Parents and Grandparents
and Loved Ones of Vigilance. They were smiling too.
"What was the final gift, Sentinel?"
A little girl with a popcorn ball in one hand and a half-empty cup of
hot chocolate in the other, tilted her head as she asked the question.
Her mother had French braided her hair atop her head, and she wore
tiny Christmas bell earrings that swayed like the pendulum of a
grandfather clock as she moved her head from side to side.
"Well," mused the Sentinel, "the Stranger
had brought the Three Secrets of Vigilance to the people. He
brought them Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future
generations. These were the tools to battle the Beast of
Terror's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. They were
like..." he paused as thought to capture an elusive thought..."ah,
they were like making a quilt. They were three different
pieces of cloth. They were wonderful by themselves, pretty
and colorful indeed as patches of cloth, but, until they were sewn
together as one, they served no common use. So the
Sentinel showed them how to weave the three Secrets of Vigilance into
one quilt. He gave them the needle and threads necessary to bind
Courage to Conviction and Conviction to Right Action so the three were
forever bound into one Blanket of Vigilance."
fingerprints prove you are special from all others who have ever
"He taught them to sew?" Timmy cocked his
head as he posed the question.
"In a matter of saying, yes.
You see, we are all individuals. Here, each of you, look
at your thumbs. If you look closely you will see that each
of you is different from the other. No one fingerprint is like
another. It means you are unique, special, different from
all others who have ever been, or ever will be."
"Does that mean I am special?"
The Little One with the popcorn ball and Christmas earrings smiled up
at the Sentinel.
"It means every one of you is special...so
special that you are the most special person in the world.
The color of your skin might be different, the shape of your nose or
cheeks might be slightly different, the color of your eyes might vary,
your religions and beliefs might be slightly different, but deep in
the marrow of your hearts, deep in the hollow of your souls, you are
all the same. You are wonderful beings carved from the same
trunk of the same tree. You are sprouts from one great seed that
spread over this earth long ago into many different lands with many
different cultures and ways of life. You are life.
You are the quilts of the blanket, the pieces that make up the whole.
And, together, you are more powerful than if you were by yourself.
Here, let me show you. Little One, come here."
chewed on popcorn balls
The Sentinel motioned for the girl
with the Christmas earrings to come forward. She handed
her popcorn ball to her brother, set down her chocolate, and made her
way next to the Sentinel.
"I have these toothpicks," the Sentinel
said fishing into his pocket. "Here is one. Face
everyone and break it in two."
"That's easy," the Little One smiled.
She held up the toothpick for all to see
and easily snapped it.
"Excellent," said the Sentinel.
"Now, try two of them." He gave her two this time. She
grimaced a little, but broke the two to the cheers of the group.
"Now, try three." This time the
girl worked harder, her face tightening as she finally snapped the
|"In Unity is Strength..."
"Now, I have put ten toothpicks together.
Each is as fragile as the other, but together they form a bond, a
union that is stronger than any part. Try and break
Oh, the Little One tried. She bent
and bent, her face becoming red with effort, but to no avail, the
bunch of toothpicks remained intact.
"They are much too strong," she exclaimed.
"I can't do it."
"Thank you, Little One." The Sentinel
patted her on the head and took nine of the toothpicks and left her
one. "You'll need this to get the popcorn from your teeth," he
"Thank you," she said, giggling,
wending her way back to her seat.
The Beast wants us all to live in the shadow of
"You see, children, the Beast of Terror tries
to break us all down one at a time. If you are filled with
Fear or Intimidated by others and you keep it a secret, then
Complacency will set in. You will want to hide from the world.
The Beast wants us all to live in the shadow of his dark wings, to
cringe when we hear his footsteps, and to do nothing but accept his
power over us. We are one stick, one toothpick that
he hopes to break easily. And, that's what the Stranger
told the people of the Land of Poverty. If they didn't come
together and bundle themselves up as one body made of many different
ones, the Beast's Fear might overpower their individual Courage over
time. The Beast's Intimidation might wear down their Conviction
one-on-one. And, if they felt they couldn't win for trying, they
might give up and let Complacency sweep over them where they would do
nothing but accept their lot in life. The
Sentinel asked them: Do you want to risk the future of your
children by fighting the Beast alone? Or, are you ready and
willing to protect your children and your Children's Children's
Children by becoming one quilt, sewn together by a common thread, the
Thread of Vigilance? Guess what your great, great,
great grandparents answered, Children?"
"The Pledge of
Vigilance is like a quilt"
"They wanted to sew the quilt,"
came one reply. "They wanted to be a bunch of toothpicks not
just one," came another. "They wanted to protect us so
they all joined hands."
"You're all correct," said the
Sentinel. "They all agreed to work together. So the
Stranger took out a pen and dabbed it in an inkwell. He took a
piece of paper and wrote on it."
"What did he write, Sentinel?"
"He wrote the Pledge of
Vigilance. It was a vow the parents, grandparents,
citizens and loved ones of the Land took to fight Fear with Courage,
to battle Intimidation with Conviction, and to always take the Right
Action for the children's benefit--all children, of all time--rather
than become Complacent.
"They signed the Pledge and
then all took a vow to protect not only their own children, but their
neighbor's children, and the Children's Children's Children's.
They stopped seeing things as they were, and began to see them as they
could be. For some, it was very hard. They
were hungry and afraid of the Beast. They weren't sure they
could overcome their Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. And
that's where the others came in. Like the many toothpicks, the
whole was stronger than the parts. People helped other
people remember that together they were stronger than any Beast of any
"How did they remember to not
forget?" asked Timmy. "Sometimes I try to not be afraid,
but then I forget and am afraid again?"
"First, each one wrote out his or her
own Pledge of Vigilance and signed it. Each hung the
Pledge in kitchen of their house so they would see it every day and
every night. And, they applied the One Percent Anti-Beast
"What's that, Sentinel."
"Fear = the
boogeyman in the dark..."
"It was very simple.
The Stranger told them that when they felt Fear or Intimidation or
Complacency, to muster up just One Percent more Courage, Conviction or
Right Actions than Fear, Intimidation or Complacency.
You see, Fear is a thought. It's not real. It's like the
boogeyman in the dark. Fear is our reaction to something.
It isn't real. We think it is. I can leap out of the
bushes and scare people, but some won't be scared. Some will see
its only me and not a monster and laugh. Why? Because they
have trained themselves that Fear blinds us to Truth. Fear
is a mask. The same with Intimidation. People
who bully us around only bully us because we let them.
When someone hurts our feelings, it is because we let them hurt our
feelings. Our feelings belong to us. Think about it.
What if the Beast made you think your feelings were hurt so you would
be sad. The Beast likes it when you are sad, you know.
Because then you become Complacent. You give up trying.
Well, if you think One Percent more Courage than Fear, One Percent
more Conviction than Intimidation, and One Percent more Right Action
than Complacency--then the Beast is "rubber and you're glue and
everything he tries to make you feel bounces off you and sticks on
him... Get the idea?"
"Yeah. When I
feel bad I know it's the Beast trying to get me to think I'm not
"That's right, Timmy."
"And the Pledge of Vigilance is
about reminding us each and every day, and sometimes lots of times
during the day, that we are special. But more important than we
being special are the special children of the future. If we act
and do things for the future of all the children, then we'll act and
do the right things. If you really care about other
children, you'll know what to do to make yourself stronger than any
Beast of Terror. And that's what the Pledge of Vigilance
did for the people of the Land of Poverty. They took the Pledge
together, and then daily reminded themselves of it.
They became one blanket, the Parents of Vigilance, bound together with
the Grandparents of Vigilance, bound together with the Brothers and
Sisters of Vigilance, bound together with the Uncles and Aunts and
Cousins of Vigilance, bound together by the Loved Ones and Citizens of
Vigilance. They became a pile of toothpicks the Beast of
Terror couldn't break. And, if someone felt Fear, Intimidation
or Complacency, they shared those feelings with someone else and asked
for help to build their Courage, Conviction and take the Right Actions
for future generations. It worked. Look around you."
Pledge of Vigilance reminds us children are special
The children looked
about the room. It was bubbling with life, smiles, warmth,
"After the Stranger
gave them the Pledge of Vigilance and they had all vowed to it, he
began to leave. The people begged him to stay, but he told them
the Land of Prosperity was theirs, not his. He told them
it was up to them to stand up to the Beast of Terror as Parents of
Vigilance, and that they had much more power to achieve that goal than
he had. And so he walked off to the horizon."
"What did the people do,
"They went to their homes and
posted the Pledge of Vigilance. They began to say it each and
every day. Slowly, the Beast of Terror found he couldn't strike
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into the people as he had before.
The shadows from his wings began to shrink into sunlight.
People no longer cowered before him, for the Beast got smaller each
day until he was the size of an ant. The trees grew back lush
and green. The fields sprouted flowers, birds sang and the sun
shined so brightly that the chill of the Beast evaporated from the
soil and souls of everything and everyone."
"And people were happy!"
"Yes, but not just happy.
They were Vigilantly Happy. They knew the Beast could return.
They knew he could grow back into a monster controlling their lives,
so they all said the Pledge of Vigilance each night and each morning.
They taught their children to respect the Beast of Terror not fear
him. See, we all have Fear, we all get Intimidated and we
all get Complacent. We are humans. We have feelings.
But what we do with those feelings is what the Stranger reminded us
was important. Each of you children can grow up to be
Sentinels of Vigilance.
Sentinels of Vigilance were a unified force against the Beast of
can protect your special nature as a unique person by not letting the
Beast try to turn your life into a Land of Poverty. You can live
in the Land of Prosperity if you are Vigilant. And, you
can stay there. All you have to remember is that together
we are stronger than apart. Now, children, let's all stand and
form a circle with our parents, grandparents and loved ones.
Let's recite the Pledge of Vigilance, and consider it the greatest
gift we can have this holiday--a gift we give to ourselves and to all
the children of all times."
took the hand of a little boy on one side and a little girl on the
other. The room was full of people, big and small, forming a
giant circle. "Okay, boys and girls, you start the
And with that
suggestion, the little Voices began to Pledge their Vigilance against
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, and they offered that Pledge to
the Children's Children's Children. They were one
now, on the Eve of Christmas. They were one body, one soul, one
unified force against the Beast of Terror. They were the
Youngest Sentinels of Vigilance.
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