What is "pure love?" On Valentine's Day, it's a good time to
examine "love." While each of us has his or her
definition, what if there was only one definition? What if it
was all about sacrifice for the Children's Children's Children?
What if it meant sending a Valentine of Vigilance to the Beast of
Terror, to let him know "pure love" was on its way?
14, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 520
A Valentine Of Vigilance
For The Children Of Europe
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Feb. 14--It's
Valentines Day today. It's supposed to be a day of love and not
war, of happiness not sadness for that elusive but powerful word
It's time for us all to give a
"Valentine of Vigilance" to those we care about the most--a symbol of
our belief that no matter what the present state of the world may be,
that Vigilance will ultimately win over Terrorism.
Love is a peculiar creature.
It often cannot be defined by the intellect, for it comes from the
heart. And there are many kinds of love--the love one has
for another human being, the love for one's country, for his or her
parents, for life and the love one has for the future of the world.
Love, some say, is nothing more than One
Percent more Hope than Dismay, One Percent more Belief than Doubt, One
Percent more Faith than Fear.
Others say that
trying to define "love" is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall--it
just can't be done.
Love, others say, is blind.
It exists despite all the evidence that suggests it shouldn't--the
mother who loves the serial killer, the wife who loves the abusive
husband, the child who loves his or her dreams even though he or she
may be eating plaster off the walls or lying in a cancer ward with a
death sentence hanging over his or her head.
Humans have tried to define love since the
dawn of time when the ugliest of all men on earth became the axis of
the most beautiful woman in the world's attention.
There are those who proudly proclaim they
"love their country right or wrong," and those who love freedom so
much they are willing to run into Tiananmen Square in China and stand
in front of a tank threatening to run them over.
There are also those who "love war," as
exampled by the fictional colonel in the movie Apocalypse Now who took
a deep breath and sighed delightedly as villages burned around him and
said: "God, I love the smell of napalm."
There are those who love life so much that
they violently oppose war and are willing to go to jail in protest of
On Nine Eleven we
saw hundreds of firemen, police and emergency workers rush into
burning buildings and risk life and limb because of their "love of
duty," and many gave their lives that day in pursuit of the love they
had to serve others selflessly in the face of danger and death.
My friend Vince Capadonno, a Maryknoll
priest in Vietnam when I was there, crawled out into hails of bullets
to drag wounded Marines to safety. He was wounded numerous times
pulling the young Marines out of harm's way and was finally cut down.
He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery in
expressing his "love" of others despite the fact he was a
non-combatant, a Catholic priest trying to salve the souls of the
humans engaged in a deadly combat.
I am sure there are countless
thousands of citizens in Iraq who love their country no matter who is
the current ruler and will fight to the death against anyone who
invades it for they "love" their right to chose their own leaders,
whether they be despots or icons of greatness.
There are those also who "love" power
and authority over others, and treat with such respect and kindness
that they will blind themselves to the inhumanity of their actions or
the casualties created to hoist that love above all others--including
human life, even their own.
There are those also who "love to
hate," and seek to feed off prejudice and bigotry against others, to
disenfranchise them from the human race so they can abuse them with
moral impunity, for their thirst to "love to hate" twists and perverts
their thinking to include themselves as a hammer and all others as a
avows his love for the United States
sure if you were to ask Saddam Hussein what he loved the most, he
would spout his love for Iraq, and for its role as a leader of nations
in the Middle East.
Osama bin Laden would equally
talk about his love of Islam, and extol its virtues to the point where
he justified all actions, however cruel and unjust to others, to
validate his love through martyrdom. He would encourage others
to show their love also by blowing themselves up for a cause that
would reward the Terrorist in the afterlife with lavish gifts in
I'm equally sure that North Korea's
leader, Kim Jong Il loves his nation as a power broker would an
arsenal of assets. He loves the idea that with enough
nuclear muscle he can bully any other nation within striking
distance to accede to his nation's will and be as strong and defiant
as other nations who enjoy such power.
Love becomes clay in the hands of the
lover. The lover of love can mould it into whatever shape,
size or configuration befits his or her belief in love.
Fat people, for example, love eating.
They live to eat. They love the feeling food gives them.
Some claim that food replaces a human in their lives, and serves as a
surrogate to flesh and blood love. But some fat people boast
that it is the "taste" they love, and will eat and eat and eat until
Critics of love, myself included,
find love to be a shapeless as a wisp of steam on a cold day. We
critics of love find it so indefinable that it has no body, no shape,
no lexicon because it means one thing to one person and another thing
to another such that no two people can agree on it.
In battles over love one can say,
"You don't love me." The other can say, "But I do love you."
"No, you can't love me, for if you did you would...." argues the
other. "But I do love you, in my own way...maybe not
your way..." comes the reply. "Then that's not love...."
To some love
can be nebulous
Love is the
perception of the lover, not its definition. Because of that, I
shy from attaching the word love to most things, knowing full well
that anyone can argue against my use of love from their perspective.
If Osama bin Laden were to say, "I
love Islam so much I am willing to kill all the infidels to protect
it," the moralists would march out in legions to destroy his
definition of love.
If a mother says she loves her child
so much she spanks it to make it mind, another group would march upon
her and tell her that issuing corporal punishment on a child is not an
act of love, but one of abuse, and perhaps have her jailed for
striking her child.
Love is nebulous when examined by
others. It filters through " perception lens" of what it
means, and, if it doesn't fit the listener's paradigm, it is
marginalized, discounted, tossed aside in righteous judgment of what
it is not despite the fact the owner of the word may have meant it
from his or her own vista.
One could eventually go berserk
trying to define love to fit the multitudes, each of whom cherish
their own definition..
Thus, I'm not going to attempt to
But I do hold one belief about love.
I hold fast to the belief that love,
as I understand it, is ultimately one's willingness to sacrifice
personal desires for the ultimate benefit of others.
The mother or father who goes hungry so his
or her children can eat is one example.
Another is the courageous who offer their
lives to protect the innocent. The Space Shuttle astronauts fall into
this category I believe, because they were willing to risk everything
to carve a path into the future for generations to come.
I think of all the Sentinels of Vigilance
who died to protect the children of the world--countless men and women
of all shapes and sizes, kinds and colors, who threw themselves into
the jaws of the Beast of Terror so that their children, and their
Children's Children's Children might have the opportunity to live life
free of the Beast of Terror one day--yes, they are without doubt
"issuers of love."
My friend, Vince Capodanno, was one
such Sentinel of Vigilance. Without a gun or weapon, he walked
into the midst of the war zone of Vietnam, willing to sacrifice his
safety and security as a human being for his love of others.
I often think of him as representing "pure love," for he would tell me
how afraid he was in battle, as afraid as any and all of us, but he
put that Fear in the back seat when the bullets flew.
Love to me is all about Courage.
It is about standing up to one's Fears, one's Intimidations, one's
Complacencies and taking the Right Actions in spite of the Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency that benefit the Children's Children's
And I don't mean just a select few
children. That would be selfish.
expression of 'conditional love' or 'pure love'
Those who strap bombs
to their chest and kill innocent people to seek martyrdom are not
selfless creatures expressing pure love. They are expressing
"conditional love," limited to only those who conform to their way of
life, their thinking, their beliefs.
The pure love I speak to is the
willingness of an adult to give his or her life for what is right for
all the Children, not just the few. It is the fuel of the
Servants of Vigilance, who daily fight the battle of taking more than
their fair share to be victorious in "giving more than their fair
To be truly Vigilant, one must
consider his or her actions in light of the ultimate goal of
protecting the future generations from Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency. To do this, one must be willing to sacrifice
his or her own selfish desires to protect the children's rights.
This means one must commit to the
love of Courage over Fear, the love of Conviction in the face of
Intimidation, and the ability to displace Complacency (inaction) with
Right Actions that serve the benefit of the Children's Children's
If I am pro-America, if I love
America, if I am a great flag waver and believe in my country "right
or wrong" I am forced to stop and ask: "Is the impending war in
Iraq to the benefit of the Children's Children's Children?
Will such a war today preserve and protect the rights of all children
in the future?"
If I answer that yes, I march to war.
If I answer that no, I march in
protest to war.
But I do not waffle. I do not
sit on the sidelines and pick my nose. I don't bury my head in
the sand in hopes the issue will blow away.
anti-war we see children as a body of innocence to be protected
If I happen
to be anti-American and despise the fact that America's bellicose
attitude toward Iraq makes me shudder because I don't think any nation
has the right to self-appoint itself as a policeman of other nations
and I tend to think the war is all about oil and power for America, I
must stop and think: "Is America's actions in Iraq ultimately,
three generations from now, going to benefit the children of the
world, all children by removing a despotic leader who has a record of
killing his own people or will America's actions hurt the children of
The Vigilance Formula forces us
to examine our prejudices and bigotries, our politics and religious
beliefs, in a neutral zone before we answer the question.
It forces us to see the children as a body of innocence, and ask if
what we are doing today will either benefit by at least One Percent
more, or depreciate by at least One Percent more the rights of the
children of the future to be free from the Terror of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency. If the three Triads of
Terrorism are diminished by any action, then such action is Vigilant.
If the Triads of Terrorism are increased by such an action, then such
action is just another form of Terrorism.
We must learn
how to express 'pure love' for our children
For one to put
his or her personal prejudices to the side and become a Sentinel of
Vigilance is not easy. It means one has to learn how to express
"pure love" for the future of the children. To express "pure
love" for the children, one has to not be contaminated by opinions and
beliefs about the present.
Personally, I don't think George Bush is
much of a politician or diplomat. He's not conceding to
the will of other nations. He's not kowtowing to the
United Nations, or seeking the approval of the world before he acts.
He's not allowing his position against Iraq as a Terrorist Regime to
be watered down by all the critics who sling arrows at him and his
Administration and rail upon America as an imperialistic hector,
imposing its power upon the world without the world's consent.
However, I do believe that at some place in time
one nation needs to rise above the cacophony of Complacency and attack
the roots of Terrorism. One nation needs to show the world that
despite all the discussions the United Nations has engaged in over
tyrants and Terrorists, it is time to make a sacrifice for what's
right for the children.
The willingness of America to spill its blood in
Iraq is a symbol--however disguised it might be by political flack and
anti-American prejudice--of America's love for the security and safety
of the children's rights.
Not too long ago the children of Europe would
dare speak out against their governments. Just a few generations
ago Europe was ruled by kings and queens, by lords of governments that
imposed their will on the people. If one were to dissent against
that government a heavy price was paid, including death.
America proved to the world that being "ruled" by
tyrants and Terrorists wasn't necessary. It proved the people of
a nation could rise up and take command of their future, and Europe
followed America's lead.
Today, the Children's Children's Children of
Europe decry the right of America to dethrone a tyrant-Terrorist.
They refute the right of America to impose its will on other nations
as a violation of world consensus. They say that only when
the United Nations authorizes such an action should such an action be
But they forget that the duty of a Parent
of Vigilance is not to wait until all the parents agree what is
right for the children. A Parent of Vigilance
walking by a child being abused by an adult cannot run to a committee
and ask permission to stop the adult from abusing the child.
should encircle all the children of the world
has abused his children. He will abuse them again and
again and again.
The issue of weapons of mass destruction is
only an excuse for action, not its core. The core issue is
will Saddam Hussein, left to his own devices, once again abuse his
nation's children if they oppose him as the Kurds did?
If the answer to that question is yes, then
America is right on target with Saddam Hussein.
Perhaps America loves children more than the
world can imagine. Perhaps the true reasons America is
standing up in the face of all global and domestic flack over Iraq
isn't just about oil or enhancing America's power over others.
Perhaps America is expressing "pure love" for the
Children's Children's Children of Iraq, and it is sacrificing its
image as "go-along-with-everyone-else-and-do-nothing" state into a
Vigilant Action State.
world send a Valentine of Vigilance to the Beast of Terror?
Just maybe America
is giving the world a Valentine of Vigilance by attacking
Iraq, or threatening to do so in spite of all the criticism.
Just maybe the regime change in Iraq will free the children
in that nation to one day protest, as European children
are today, the right of America to be a Parent of Vigilance.
Maybe pure love is
not letting the protests of your children defer you from
doing what is right for other children.
Just maybe, the louder
the protestations from Europe, the more fuel is fired
that America is right on target, for not too long ago,
Europe was gagged, and its children silent.
Maybe, the Valentine of
Vigilance Europe received many years ago needs to be reopened,
and its contents sent to the children of Iraq.
Sending it would be an
act of "pure love."
New Sophia's Wisdom Story:
Click Heart--Go There Now!
Feb 13.--Missiles In The Haystacks--Terrorism
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