The VigilanceVoice
Monday-- April 22, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 223

The World's First Terrorist

Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

        GROUND ZERO, New York City, April 22-- I was startled when I realized who the first Terrorist in the world was, and even more rattled to find out who his parents were.  Then, the rug was pulled from under me when I found out his grandfather could have changed the course of human history had he been more Vigilant.
       Before I give you my opinion of who that person was, take a couple of seconds and probe your mind for the identity of the First Terrorist--who do you think it was?
       I love history.   History is generally not influenced by the present.  It is created after the fact, generally when one reflects upon events and recognizes a pattern of behavior, which result in certain outcomes--good or bad.
       Police and law enforcement authorities use the "modus operandi"--a person's M.O., if you will--as a tracking device to capture criminals.   People are creatures of habit; they leave trails based on certain behaviors rooted in their being that form footprints or bread crumbs leading authorities and historians to finally locate their "secret hideouts"
       Terrorism enjoys a modus operandi that can be tracked through human history to the first Terrorist, and then directly to his mother, father and, most importantly, his grandfather.
        The authority source for tracking the first Terrorist is the most published book in the world, the Bible.  In the first book, Genesis, we see the birth of the First Terrorist.  It was Adam and Eve's second son, Caine.
        Able, the first son, became a sheepherder.   Caine, his younger brother was a farmer.   The parents of the two brothers asked their sons to sacrifice a lamb to God for forgiveness of their "sins"--the defiance that drove them out of the Garden of Eden.
        Able picked the finest lamb and burned it.  Caine was skeptical of offering such a prize to God, and so, according to the Book of Genesis, Chapter 4:1 through 4:16, offered up some old, worthless straw.   It didn't burn.
        Caine figured God liked Able more because the fire consumed Able's lamb while it wouldn't spark to life for Caine's throw-away straw.   Angered and jealous, so the story goes, Caine kills his brother in a rage of ego over who was loved most by God.  Caine figured since God wouldn't command the straw he offered burn, that God, his grandfather, favored his older brother.
        When God asked Caine where his brother was, Caine uttered the famous question:  "Am I my brother's keeper?"
         So, here we have it.  The first Terrorist.   He killed his brother, some say with a rock by smashing his skull.   He was filled with envy, jealousy, anger, resentment and rage because he thought he was "lesser than" in his grandfather's eyes--God--the creator of his parents, Adam and Eve.
         Whether this story is true or not, its roots are true.   Human beings are a composition of all the good and bad that one can imagine--both saints and sinners in one genetic package.
          So who is to blame?   Where is the source of Terrorism?  
          The harsh story of Caine and Able is the same story of yin and yang, or the science of polarity where a positive and negative repel each other, pushing and shoving like two magnets with the same charge trying to be pushed together.
          I grew up with that feeling.  My mother and father were divorced when I was nine months old.   She remarried when I was five and  I resented my "new father."   Then when they had children, I was angered that my half-brother was now the king of the house, and that my mother had taken on a "new family" she loved more than I believed she loved my sister and I, products from our biological father.   I wished ill upon my brother as a young child, blaming him for stealing my mother's affection; for causing the disenfranchisement between myself and my sister and our mother.
        My mother and I did not communicate emotionally.  There was no "soul connection," no sense of my parents really caring about what I was inside--no relation to my deepest secrets or most awful fears that terrorized me and drove me to sleep in the bottom of my bed, curled up so that the "monsters of the night" in the dark might think I was a lump of pillows at the bottom of the bed and move on to get my sister who slept in the bunk bed above me or better to devour my half-brother.
       I lived in Terrorism of not being loved.   At least, not the way I wanted to be loved.   And no one knew that but me because no one asked me:  "Cliff, how would you like to be loved?"
      My mother was far too busy building a new family to give time to the pains and anguish that roiled in my soul, or that of my sisters.   And my brother, Mike, he was the cause of it, I thought.  He was my replacement in the eyes of my mother.
      I also had no emotional relationship with my grandparents.   They came from the old school, "children are to be seen not heard."  So I skulled around them, walking on eggshells, trying to win their affection, their love, but failing miserably in my vainglorious attempts to cleave myself to them as an equal so they could hear the whimpers of my lonely soul and its pain of being alienated from my mother because she now gave her full attention to my younger, half-brother.
       A child's Terrorism, I believe, begins with Complacency by its parents and grandparents lack of Emotional Love.   It is further fueled by a sense of favoritism of one child over another, whether real or imagined.   I'm sure my mother would stand before God and claim she loved me just as much or more than any other child she had, but I would refute her argument--and so would my sister.
       This doesn't mean she didn't love me--but it does mean she didn't express that love in ways that I grasped its depth, and its specialness to me.  Instead, I recoiled from her like she was a hot flame, and drove myself into a shell where I could not be hurt, always conscious of the favoritisms shown toward her "new family" that grew more important than her "old family."  I was abandoned Emotionally, set out on a sea of jealousy and anger to find my own way through the maze of life.
      If Caine was I, and I Caine, then who ultimately is to blame?    The easiest target is to sling rocks at my mother.   In the case of Able and Caine, history can chide Adam and Eve for not loving both children in such as way that both felt unique, and both felt a trust to tell their parents all their feelings, and respected them enough to garner their advice before acting on an impulse, a defect of character such as pride, anger, envy, gluttony, sloth or lust.
      But there is one other responsible person who cannot go without his fair share of the blame for the creation of the First Terrorist--the grandfather, God Himself.
      The rage that ended up killing Able by Caine's hand came from Caine's belief God loved Able more than he loved Caine.
      The creational foundation of the First Terrorist was born in jealousy.
      Modern Bible teachers sidestep the issue of blaming God for showing favoritism by letting Able's fine gift of a prized lamb burn, and Caine's shallow, selfish gift of old straw smolder and contend that God didn't favor one over the other.   Instead, they claim, it was Caine's "bad seed," his "bad choice," his use of "free will," that caused the death of his brother.
      In other words, they absolve God and blame Caine.    Some might say what is happening in the Catholic Church over child molestation is not unlike the Caine and Able story.  For centuries children accusing a parent or relative or higher authority of such moral crimes have been berated, stifling their accusations.  "How could a man of God do such a thing!  NO!  It isn't possible!" sang the choir to the choir.
      Today, Vigilance looms over Intimidation.  Those who embrace the Principles Of Vigilance can not escape the responsibility for the acts of Terror committed by their children or grandchildren.  Terrorism begins at home.  So does Vigilance.
      If the story of Caine and Able is true, then God screwed up by not teaching Adam and Eve about the Rules of Parenting.   He missed the mark.   He goofed.
      Had He been a Parent of Vigilance, He would have taught His children to fight their Fears with Courage, their Intimidations with Convictions, and their Complacency with Action.  Parents of Vigilance build a child's Emotional Shields of Vigilance to defend itself from the "monsters within."
      Had Grandfather God helped build such defenses, perhaps Caine would not have felt the rage that God loved his older more.
      Child favoritism--where parents like one child more than another--is the crux of the issue.   It is easy for a parent to embrace one child more.   The more a child is like us, the more we dislike the child because we can see the character defects in all his or her actions.  The more a child is like we wanted to be like, the more we embrace the child, the more we vicariously live through him or her to sate the  lack of love when we were children.
       But God should have known that.
       As a grandparent, I have the privilege of a life of mistakes to render upon my grandchildren.   I believe we call these "wisdoms," the sum of our errors.  I also have a duty and responsibility to pass on to my grandchildren knowledge and experience of how to live an emotionally happy life rather than one filled with Terror.
       That means I must ask my grandchildren to tell me about their Fears, the things that Intimidate them, to not be afraid to speak about the Complacencies with me--those things they don't want to do, or try to avoid.
       To win their trust in communicating with me, I must show them my Fears and tell them I am afraid at times of certain things so they know I am just as vulnerable as they.  I must tell them about my Intimidations, and how I have cowered and relinquished my rights and will to others and how that feeling made me only feel less than, rather than equal.  And, I must tell them about my Complacency, my lack of desire to challenge things, to go beyond my limits, to test my faith, my courage, my convictions by taking actions that are full of risk--and--possible failure.
       On the obverse side, I owe it to my grandchildren to share with them the Courage I mustered to overcome my Fears.   I have to tell them how Conviction made me stand up tall and proud in the face of feeling "less than," or, taught me I wasn't "better than," another.   And, I must show my grandchildren I am not afraid of taking Action to overcome my Complacency.
      I think if God had passed on his wisdoms to his grandkids, maybe Caine might not have picked up a rock and smashed his brother's skull.
      I also think that had God passed on similar Wisdoms to his children, Adam and Eve, they could have passed those on to their children.  I think God should have not told them: "Don't eat the apple!"    Instead, he should have said, "You're probably, because your human and have free will, going to test my authority.  You're probably going to take a big bite out of the apple and be cast out of Paradise.   So, if you choose that way, you will have to pay a price.   It won't be pleasant.   If you do the crime you have to do the time.  But, I'll be there for you in the pain and suffering, just as I am here in the warmth and glory of Paradise.   I'll love you unconditionally, no matter what, just for who you are, not because of what you are."
      I understand that Adam and Eve were prototypes.
      I understand God makes mistakes.   His first one was thinking you can tell people how to live.    The New Testament went a step further and provided a way of "showing people how to live."   But that was only a couple of thousand years ago, and modern man has been evolving for over 35,000 years--since the advent of the Cro-Magnum when civilization as we know it today was launched.
      Those who don't believe in the Bible, Old or New Testament, don't have to shy from the essence of the story of Caine and Able.   Somewhere along the line humans grew into Terrorists.  
      The old adage that says:  "If you want to know what a child will be like when it grows up, just follow it home," applies to Adam and Eve as well as to Osama bin Laden or the people living next door.
      Being a Vigilant person who cares about preserving the peace and harmony of the world begins at home, just as Terrorism does.   In the case of every madman or madwoman can be found the footprints of their parents and grandparents.   Somewhere along the line the child removed himself or herself from love and caring and compassion, and lived in caves of fear and oppression and hate.
      People just don't wake up one morning and say:  "Hey, today I'm gonna be a suicide bomber!"  They don't lie awake at night dreaming up more ways to become a worse pedophile, or child abuser, or murderer unless those "bad seeds" were neglected by Parents and Grandparents of Complacency, people who assumed the child should "be seen and not heard."
      If you haven't lately, ask your children, your grandchildren or your loved ones some usually taboo questions such as:  "What were you afraid of today?"  "What were you intimidated by today?"   "What did you feel complacent about, or gave up on before you started?"
      If you get no answer, then tell the child what you were afraid of today, or what you were intimidated by, or how you acted with complacency.  Then ask them for advice on how to overcome those fears, intimidations and complacencies.
     Once the conversation gets rolling, and it will, work in the courage that must be found to deal with the fear, the conviction necessary to stand up to the intimidation, and the actions necessary to overpower the complacencies.
      We aren't prototypes any more!   It's time to stop the propagation of the world's Next Terrorist by remembering the lessons the World's First Terrorist taught us--and that's to be Semper Vigilantes.

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