Yesterday, I batted 1.000 in Central Park softball. I faced
the Beast of Batting Terror and won. But what about all the
people who refuse to swing the Bat of Vigilance? Are they
18, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 705
Batting a 1.000 Against The Beast Of
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Aug. 18, 2003--
Nothing is sweeter than batting 1.000 against the Beast of Terror.
I batted 1.000
against the Beast of Terror
I had such an experience
It happened at Central Park's Great Lawn, in the midst
of the park's 150th Anniversary events. Only my victory
over both gravity and age will not be recorded by Central Park
Historians. It will only be enshrined in my own mind.
Terrorism, as I have stated countless times over the
past 1.5 million words composed since September 11, 2001, takes many
shapes, forms and sizes. It's primary goal is to inject
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency in its victims, rendering them
virtually helpless to act in their own behalf.
Like artillery shelling, Terrorism is about
confusing people and making them think they are at the epicenter of
the end of the world, converting them from strong, viable guardians of
the present and future, into babbling, screaming, frightened sheep who
cower in their own shadows, frightened to take the risks necessary to
stand up to the tyranny and oppression of forces appearing far greater
Apathy is one of the outcroppings of Terrorism.
When a person, group or society sit back and wait for someone else to
take care of them, to protect or guard them from the harms of both
physical and emotional threats, their will to survive atrophies.
They become wandering generalities instead of meaningful specifics.
In the Iraqi
War most nations refused to stand up to Saddam and Terrorism
In the recent Iraqi
War we saw nations sitting on the sidelines, arguing over
technicalities and harrumphing the United States and Britain while the
Beast of Terror laughed, enjoying the fact that nations such as France
and Germany refused to stand up to Saddam Hussein, refused to send a
signal to any and all Terrorists, future or present, that the free
world would not stand by and suck its thumb while oppression and
tyranny ran freely.
Arguments will rage among political and historical
pundits for years as to the legitimacy of the war, but no one will
argue that a bully was stopped. Some claim the bully, Saddam
Hussein, was chased out of his seat of power by but another bigger
bully. These narrow-minded critics forget to issue the
word "apathy" or "Complacency" as part of their arguments, or that the
world sat back and tacitly endorsed the proliferation of Terrorism by
allowing it to swell before their very eyes.
In a way, America and Britain, plus all the
allies who fought against Saddam, batted 1.000 this last March.
Those who sat on the sidelines all struck out.
I thought about standing up to the plate and
taking the heat this weekend when I was playing softball in Central
There is no doubt I was the oldest guy on the
team, and, the heaviest. And, probably, the tallest.
I was once a supple athlete, able to play
about any kind of competitive sport with some alacrity. But as
age and weight conspired, I became lethargic about sports.
About six weeks ago I learned a group I belonged to had a permit to
play softball at Central Park's beautiful Great Lawn on Sundays.
Little League Team's win stirred my competitive nature
and I had been helping coach our grandkids' East Village Little League
team, and the spirit of competition roiled within me. I
grabbed my older daughter's softball glove and headed up to Central
Park, only to be humiliated when I attempted to bat and run.
I've been a great batting coach since my children
began to play ball, and pride myself in being able to take young kids
and turn the wooden stick they hold into a virtual weapon of ball
smashing. When our two daughters were younger, my
wife and I helped one of our teams win a national championship--a
feather in any coach's cap.
I understand both the mechanics and strategy of
batting. And, I know the measure of any athlete in
baseball or softball comes when one stands at the plate and the ball
makes its looping arc or steams toward you. You end up
either swatting at it spastically, or you hit it and drive your
teammates closer to home.
The first four weekends of playing ended in my
utter humiliation. Not only could I not bat, but in trying
to run to first base I pulled a muscle in my calf. My leg
swelled and I could barely walk. I ended up taking antibiotics,
icing and babying my leg.
The Beast of
Terror sat upon my shoulder, whispering: "LOSER"
Worse, the Beast of Old
Terror sat upon my shoulder, whispering in my ear: LOSER!
OLD! FAILURE! WASHED UP!
As a practicing Sentinel of Vigilance, I
understood the hissing sound of the Beast's Voice was nothing more
than my Fear, Intimidation and Complacency working against me.
However, to conjure the Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for
future generations to combat these Triads of Terrorism was about as
easy as getting France and Germany to announce to the world they made
a giant mistake when they turned their backs on the United States
during the Iraqi War, or, in getting the protestors who claim the war
was all about "Blood For Oil" to recant and admit the war was about
showing Terrorism that it would be met with deadly force were it to
rise up again.
It is easy to give up when the going
All of us need to face the
gravity of situations.
But in order to achieve anything, the
hill often slopes up with such a steep grade that no matter how many
steps we take toward the crest, we keep slipping back farther.
And, if we're older and overweight, the gravity doubles, triples and
This weekend I vowed to play again.
There was some part of me that was struggling to fight the demons
within that laughed at my ability to regain my youth, to control my
swatting with the bat.
I went to Central Park to redeem
myself. I wanted to show the Beast of Terror within that
even if I weren't able to bat, that lack of skill would not keep me
Someone once said the "attempt is the
Often, people are chided if they are
not good at something. But their critics are only mouthpieces of
the Beast. When one thinks about life, it is about
making countless mistakes enroute to victory.
When we fail or falter or stumble as we
struggle to reach some goal, there are those who do not stop to lift
us up or offer a helping hand. France and Germany
certainly didn't, as many of the U.N. nations stood by and turned
their heads prior to the Iraqi War.
Millions of protestors carrying signs
against America's involvement took to the streets to kick and stomp on
America's role as a Sentinel of Vigilance. They chanted
and screamed like rabid fans jeering the visiting team, wishing ill
upon them as they took the field.
are brought up to believe they are the hammers and other people
for any reason is a cheap and cowardly act in itself. The
kids who laugh at another child who cannot do something well are only
reflecting the cruelty they received at home from their parents.
Such children are brought up to believe that other people are nails
and they are hammers. They have little compassion outside
their own selfishness, their own self-centeredness. They are
like the protestors who spew venom against America's battle with
Terrorism, hiding behind the shield of Free Speech when there is
nothing free about speech. Great speech takes great
effort. It requires issuing out both sides of any issue, but
those who seek the easier, softer way like to rail on only one side.
Protestors who ignore the fact
that Terrorism on a global basis has been set back by the invasion and
occupation of Iraq only underscore that the Beast of Terror lives
within them, hoping to convert the world into a state of Complacency
and apathy so that he or she will run and hide from oppression and
That's why I went back to
The Beast of
Terror wanted me to give up but..........
my own small world, the Beast of Terror lived inside my bat.
He wanted me to quit trying.
He wanted me to give up, just
as he wants me to give up writing these pages every morning and trying
to get others to think in Vigilant rather than Terroristic Terms.
The Beast of Terror wants us all to
stop trying to be better. He wants us to all give up the
struggle to achieve, and to slink back into our shells of selfishness
and self-servitude so we might cower a little more when his or her
shadow casts our way.
Maybe that's why the Sentinels of
Vigilance came to my rescue.
They didn't want me to quit swinging
the Bat of Vigilance.
Sentinels of Vigilance didn't want me to quit swinging the Bat of
Metaphorically, the softball bat and my words are not unalike.
Both try to make a hit. Both try and move the runners.
From Fear to Courage, from Intimidation to Conviction, and from
Complacency to Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children.
Home plate is Vigilance over Terrorism.
When coaching my own
daughters, I would urge them to picture the face of the bogeyman or
monster on the ball, even the face of someone they didn't like, so
they would keep their eyes on the ball and smash whatever or whomever
was on it
The ball is the Beast of
When it comes, its job is to
strike out the batter, or to make the batter swat it so ineptly that
he or she fails to move it with force that causes the
runners--Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future
Well, yesterday was my day.
Or, should I say, the day of the Sentinels of Vigilance.
Despite a wounded right leg,
the extra weight and far too many years of age, despite the bad back
and eyes that need glasses, I batted 1.000 yesterday.
It was as though the Sentinels of
Vigilance were rewarding me for trying. I took the bat
calmly in my hands, removed my right hand from gripping the bat by
encircling my left hand with it, and reached out and stroked the bat
over the plate.
I called where the ball would land
each time before batting, and in 9 out of 10 at bats, drove the ball
exactly where I pointed.
It was an amazing experience.
Also, instead of trying to run and
endangering my wounded leg, I had a pinch runner surrogating for me.
At the end of the day I was elated,
not with myself, but with my perseverance. And, I was thankful
for the Voices of Vigilance.
We must listen
to the Voices of Vigilance and not the Voices of Terror
heads are two Voices. One is the nagging fish mongering Voice of
the Beast of Terror who loves to tell us what Losers and Failures we
are, and how we need to "give up" and "surrender" to his Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency. The other is the Voice of
Vigilance who coaches us to use at least One Percent more Courage to
dispel our Fear, to conjure at least One Percent more Conviction than
Intimidation, and to muster One Percent more energy to take Right
Actions for the benefit of future generations and not to be sucked
into the quicksand of Complacency.
I listened to those Voices.
Each at bat allowed me to remove my
right hand from the bat, the hand that tried to swat the bat and make
a homerun. I wanted solid, clean hits. And that's what I
got. I drove in five runs with my 10 at bats, and only when the
game was over, did I realize I had batted 1.000.
I thought about the victory not in
terms of how great I was, for anyone who had seen me play the previous
weeks would whisper to someone standing next to them: "How come
the old guy doesn't let someone bat for him. Doesn't he know
he's over the batting hill!"
This week's battling batting success
was a symbol.
It came after the Great Blackout.
It came as the U.S. is standing ready
to help out Liberia in its battle with Terrorism. It came when
the people of the nation realize they cannot count on the government
to be in charge of even electricity, but they can count on themselves
to work together as one Family of Vigilance.
The Great Blackout of 2003 is, for
me, a sign the Beast of Terror is in trouble. Instead of riots
and looting, the news was filled with Acts of Vigilance.
People know Terrorism exists today in many forms, and, I believe, are
coming closer together because of it.
When I hear people scream and shout
about how many Americans die daily in Iraq, I shake my head.
Each volunteer in the military vowed to fight the Beast of Terror in
any land. Americans are the only people in the world
standing at the Plate of Terrorism, swinging the bat.
Each American who dies is a symbol of Vigilance, a signpost of a
nation willing to take on the Beast in any land.
My meager batting experience
pales in comparison to the Courage, Conviction and Right Actions of
our troops both in Iraq and now Liberia.
Terrorism is striking out.
Swing the bat
against Terrorism and bat 1.000
Yesterday, I may have batted 1.000. But America and all nations
willing to swing the bat against Terrorism are also batting 1.000.
And the critics who hiss and jeer on
Well, I feel sorry for them. I
feel sorry that they are blind to Vigilance and are succubae of the
Beast of Terror.
But the ones I feel most sorrow for are the
ones who don't care. The ones sitting at home doing nothing,
telling their children how to be a nobody.
I pity most those who don't swing the bat
17--Muscles Of Vigilance Flex Against Terrorism
- 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved -