The VigilanceVoice
Thursday-- March 7, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 177

Rules Of Vigilant Engagement
--The First Rule--
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

        GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 7--Every war has it rules.   Some are good rules, some are bad.  Nevertheless, they exist as does gravity, or the fact that the sun rises and sets.
         To battle Terrorism of the Physical or Emotional kind, we must prepare our thinking.  We must know the Rules of Engagement or we will be blindsided by Terrorism's sneak attacks, crippled by its booby traps, maimed and scared by its suicide bombers.
         Therefore, I will endeavor to spell out the Rules Of Vigilant Engagement, one at at time, to help you and your family and loved ones prepare for the constant attacks we all face today and tomorrow--and, most importantly, from the past.
          As I have proposed many times, Terrorism of the Self is one of the far more crucial issues we, as Citizens of Vigilance, must face daily.   Terrorism of the Self is when thoughts or feelings from within us turn our souls into Jell-o, drive us into inner caves of Fear, Intimidation or Complacency that we aren't "good enough," "smart enough," "pretty or handsome enough," "rich enough," "worthy enough," and a host of other demons from within that rise up and choke our right to stand tall in the mirror, to look at ourselves with pride and dignity.
         Those of us who awaken with pain in our hearts and soul, or the dread of living another day in the rut we are in, or are trapped in a way of life that appears more like a prison than the joys of Freedom, know what Emotional Terrorism is about.   And, if we sit in our muck and mire it will swallow us, beat us, torture us until there is little left but shreds of Hope that life is truly worth living.
         These feelings, attitudes, outlooks have their roots sunk deep.  They usually stem from our childhood, from the lack of close alliances with an adult mentor who could have guided us through our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies when we were so young and impressionable, when our outlooks toward life were being formed.
        To change these habits, these Terroristic outlooks that shape the way we view the world, we need to arm ourselves with certain rules, standards, checkpoints, alerts and sentries to ward off the Terrorisms within which have burrowed  in the deep, dank caves of our souls, in the bowels of our being, hiding out like bin Laden--rising up when least expected to steal away moments of joy, to turn beauty into ugliness, to make us shrink back into the shadows for fear the sunlight will turn on us.
        In this light, the First Rule Of Engagement Against Terrorism is perhaps on the surface simplistic, but yet it is deep and rich in its pervasive power.   If you cleave it to your chest and heart, if you assimilate it, then you will be well on your way to building a fortress of both Emotional and Physical defenses and offenses to thwart Terrorism of all types.
        Rule One is:  EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!
        This rule simply tells us that whatever we think might happen, may not.   Conversely, whatever we think won't happen may well happen.  
        It is a tricky rule because it drives away the most common cause of Terrorism--Complacency.  
        Complacency can be likened to one's Expectations.   Expectations are the lazy man's or woman's excuse for living life.   Expectations take no energy, no effort.   They are one's dreams run amok, with no defense against them being dashed, broken, murdered by the forces of reality.  
        There are good Expectations and bad Expectations.
        A good Expectations is that everything will be "perfect," or that everything "should be perfect."  What's bad about this is that there is no "perfect" world.  To set one's self up for a world of perfection is to walk a tightrope a hundred stories up in a hurricane.   It's when one ignores the reality of life in making a decision or looking ahead, blinding one's self to certain truths so only the roses can be seen.  And then, when the sheen of the situation wears thin and the diapers stink and the baby cries, and the bills pile up, and the fat cells accumulate, one looks in the mirror and the dreams of gilded rose petals are now dead and only the thorns with their prickly points remain.
       Bad Expectations are those in which there is no Hope.   When one looks at a situation, one sees no rainbow at the end, no pot of gold.   Circumstances have beaten down the ability for one to see any good, and experience has driven one away from even "trying."   "Aw, that won't work."  "No, I can't do that."   "No, that's not me."  "I'm not that kind of person."  
       Expectations can be our worst enemy when they do not come to fruition, or when they appear unscaleable mountains that stop us from even trying to climb them.
       They turn into no action.  They create Complacency where the difference between a rut and grave becomes the depth, and the idea of life's adventure is only expressed on a television program where we vicariously accept the thrill of life through others, and never via our own actions.
       We become dull people.  Resigned people.   Walking dead people.
       We become ripe for Terrorism.
        Battling Complacency is not easy.
       To put it in its proper place, we must learn to say to ourselves: "Today, I expect the unexpected."
       All that means is you are placing yourself in sate of  "Reality Readiness."   Your mind, your soul, your being is not living a life dependent on expectations--either of the good or bad kind.
       It means you are not stuck in them also.
      Expect the Unexpected.  Expect your expectations to be changed, altered, perhaps even dashed--but don't stop expecting things to happen.  If you are expecting the worst of things to happen, driven to that feeling because things haven't gone well for you in life, then Expect The Unexpected--which, in this case, is that they might go well this time.   But if they don't again, this doesn't mean you give up.  You keep plugging.  You Expect the Unexpected--you work toward the rainbow, the pot of gold even if the storms batter you.
      The Idealist who has the vision of the world filled with bright colors and no pain, needs to Expect the Unexpected.    Things happen.  Life changes.  Evolution occurs.   September 1lth's exist.   One who Expects the Unexpected changes rose colored glasses to those with 20/20 vision--admitting that things can go wrong, that perfection may not be so perfect.
      In defending one's life from Terrorism, Expecting the Unexpected is the foundation.   From it, we will build upon this Rule with other Rules of Engagement.   The second of which is, "Ready For Anything, Counting on Nothing."   We'll talk more about this rule in another article.
     Semper Vigilantes.

     Go To Mar. 6 "Praying for Seeds of Vigilance"

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