Article Overview:   What is suicide and sacrifice all about?   Is it about Vigilance vs. Terrorism?   More than 30,000 Americans chose suicide each year.    What happened to them?


Tuesday, February 17, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 888
Suicide Or Sacrifice?
Are They Same or Different

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 17, 2004 -- The older I get, the more I look at death's many options.  Suicide is one of them.   Sacrificing that option and living life to its brutal, unintentionally snipped end, is another.  As long, that is, as there's a pot of gold at the end of the storm's rainbow.
         It's not uncommon or morbid to make plans about eventuality of death.   Today, a prudent parent in planning his or her estate includes whether they want the plug pulled in case they end up on the brain dead side of life, or the cost and pain of keeping them alive exceeds the quality of life they proscribe.
        I've thought about death a lot lately.

I have lived in the ashes and graves of the deaths from Nine Eleven

        I'm struggling to get back to life.   Part of me has been dead for a long time.   Some say it is because I have lived in the ashes and graves of the deaths of 3,000 victims from the World Trade Center for 888 days and nights, never letting up on my quest to alert the parents and the world of the dangers of the Beast of Terror.
       Some say I have buried myself.  That I'm suffocating myself on the false belief that what I have to say has some impact on the world, that it might bring about a change in human behavior sufficient to defeat Terrorism's impact on the Children's Children's Children.
       I've thought about those charges.
       I've wondered if they are true.  
       Facts suggest my battle to "bring life out of death" has been lost.   Examples:  Few if any responses to my website find their way to me.  After approaching three years of daily publication, I can count on one hand the number of donations received, and those were goaded with one or two exceptions by me.
        It has been economically suicidal, to say the least.  
        Still, I fight.
        My friends who care about me, and are tired of me holding out my hands to them seeking alms or goading them to buy the dwindling artifacts my wife offer for sale,  see me wasting my time and talents on an unrealistic, unproductive (economically), unrecognized effort to rally people around a cause--Vigilance.   

Some of my friends have called me self destructive

        Some have graphically likened my actions to that of hanged man, swinging in the wind, victim of a self-imposed noose around my neck slowly tightening.    They claim I am self-destructive.  And that my incessant desire to teach and promote Vigilance at the expense of earning enough money to pay the rent and put food on the table (and, of course, to pay the cable t.v. bill), is simply a blind, a shield to avoid confrontations with the "real world."
        They say I am committing economic suicide and  self-worth suicide which can and often does lead to "real suicide."
        One could argue, of course, that I am sacrificing myself for a greater cause.    Unfortunately, there are no statistics for this ailment.   It could be argued that instead of suicide--the act of taking away or robbing life through untimely, self-imposed death--that I'm giving back to life at the expense of life's necessities.  That what little I have left in material goods is not as important as the values I believe need to be embossed into the daily lives of us all.    In other words, I could be sacrificing the reality of life for the illusion of it, that by giving back more than expected, even at one's own expense, one becomes richer than one can imagine.
        It is a paradox--Suicide or Sacrifice?   Delusion versus Illusion.   Reality versus Fantasy?

I am living a paradox

        Sacrifice?  That's a lofty term.   Were it not for my wife's support, I would deny what I'm doing as a Sacrifice.   But my wife is as much a believer in Vigilance as I, and we hum the same tune about the value of the VigilanceVoice, even though it has few readers and no economic support.
        It is easy for me to see how she has sacrificed herself and many of her needs and wants to believe in it.    She edits the pieces daily and beautifies the words with pictures, as well as writes the wonderful stories in Sophia's Wisdom, geared to children.
        It has concerned me that whenever I speak of stopping the publication, or chucking it to focus on something else, she runs to rescue of the VigilanceVoice, as though I were talking about chopping up our grandchildren and selling their body parts to some anatomy school.
        I listen to her intently.    She knows something I do not.
        She knows that killing the VigilanceVoice is an act of suicide not a measure of sacrifice.  Such a death would be the wasteful abuse of life, assuming words and thoughts placed in communications have a life of their own.
       In 2002, 30,646 people in America took their own lives.   Their ability to communicate hope of any kind has been eternally snuffed.  The U.S. suicide stats are nearly twice as many as homicide victims (about 17,000 of them last year).
       Each year, 2.4 million people die of all causes.   Death happens.   So does life.  Just over 4 million live births are recorded.   Life trumps death in numbers.
       So, I think about life in terms of death, as many do.  I wonder if life will die in the living, as it seems to have in parts of me I am trying to heal, to resurrect.
       I wonder if the Beast of Terror tries to kill our value of life so we want to turn away from it, as 30,646 do each year.
       But suicide has many forms.   I wonder:  Will a child growing up with a battered self-image live life or become its prisoner?   Will he or she live in Fear, Intimidation and Complacency?   Or, will he or she break out into the world of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children?
        Will suicide or sacrifice be the options?  Will the child be guided to fight for the virtues of life, to stand tall when all about him or her seems to be crumbling?  Or, will he or she duck and run, hide, cower, or simply deny the responsibility to grow above the warts of life into the man or woman of Vigilance he or she can be?

I have expectations attached to what others think of what I do

       It took me five decades to find Vigilance and, after only 888 days of embracing it, part of me want to toss it aside.  That part wants to cut my Vigilance wrists and bleed out, let die that which I believe in the most.   That part, the Beast of Terror, wants me to base life's values on the expectations I have as to what others think of what I do, or what I am not doing that is "good" for me.   The Beast wants me to think if those expectations differ, and overshadow those of my wife and I, I should surrender such values, for they don't fit the norm.  I am not providing.   I am a "failure" in other's eyes.
         I argue, rightly or wrongly, it is not easy to be a Sentinel of Vigilance, for one must face the flaws of his or her nature in the process to strengthen them.   Terrorism drives all its victims to the same suicide pit eventually.   It's called Complacency.     The Beast of Terror wants us to all give up on our dreams, to slash our wrists of them, to poison our thoughts about them, so they shrivel up and die.  My critics argue Complacency to provide is just as deadly as unfulfilled dreams and unreasonable expectations.

Killing dreams is the goal of the Beast

        Killing dreams and hopes and beliefs in what can be is the goal of the Beast, for the effort to dream and believe in spite of all the discouragements creates Courage, Conviction and Right Actions.    The Beast cannot afford to have those flint stones sparking the tinder of Vigilance.   The spark and flames create light in the darkness; it exposes the Beast.
         Suicide or Sacrifice?
         Vigilance or Terrorism?
         Are they the same, or different? 
         Suicide is about giving up.  Sacrifice is about holding onto the most fragile of dreams, the most threadbare of beliefs in something beyond one's self that benefits future generations.
          I'll opt for sacrifice.   That way, I still have hope.   The other option eliminates that.

Feb 16--Smoker's Death Wish

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of Vigilance Part V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

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