The Crossroads

The world is at a Crossroads…each one of us has been affected, in our own way, in the past 6 months. While we were growing up, we were led to believe that the countries with the most powerful weapons had nothing to worry about. Surely no one would attack any nation with that kind of force. After 9/11, all that changed. Could it be that problems and conflicts that were pushed off into the future, have finally arrived at our doorstep? The attack on New York and Washington, DC….the crisis in the Middle East….the sexual charges surrounding the Catholic Church….all erupting within the past 6 months. Each one involving the destruction and the hurt, in one form or another, of the innocent. Yes, indeed, we are at the Crossroads.

What makes a group of individuals so angry that they would fly airplanes into skyscrapers, while sacrificing their own lives? Strangely, I am reminded of a scene from Godfather 2, where Al Pacino’s character, Michael Corleone, was visiting Cuba before the rise of Castro. He shared with his friends something that he witnessed. He mentioned that he saw a young boy throw himself into a police car with a hand grenade, killing all the police officers in the vehicle. He commented that even though the government of Cuba had an incredible police force, Corleone was willing to place his bet with the freedom fighters. As history has shown, Castro did eventually rise to power and take control of Cuba. In Vietnam, we had all the military hardware, but as one Vet shared with me, “What we were fighting was not a traditional war….but Guerilla Warfare. Children would walk up to you with a hand grenade, and you had to choose, do I die, or do I kill the kid? I chose to kill the kid, and for the rest of my life, I have nightmares.” Guerilla Warfare does not involve who has the most weapons or money….it involves who is willing to sacrifice the most.

The Catholic Church for decades moved pedophile priests from parish to parish, settling multimillion dollar lawsuits along the way, putting off today’s problems to the future. Well, the future has come home to roost. Denial and cover-up have been the status quo for many authorities and governments throughout the world. The only problem is that they eventually have to be solved, and time has a stinging way of making them worse. One has to wonder, what other surprises await us over the next six months?

Why am I so concerned about all of these tragedies? Because I have noticed a radical change in the e-mails I have received since 9/11. These tragedies have had a subliminal affect on us all. Some are totally aware of it, with for others, it shows up in the form of health problems, nightmares, or just plain depression. People are being affected by all this. The Crossroads are here….we can’t put things off until tomorrow anymore.

So this is what the Crossroads look like….picture yourself standing right in the middle. Behind you is the past, to the left is Denial, to the right is Acceptance, and in front of you is a sign that says, “The Future,” with a roadblock in front of it. There’s only one problem…in order to get past that roadblock, we have to acknowledge our denial and embrace our acceptance. Only then does the roadblock spring open and allow us passage. You may ask, am I being a little bit too dramatic? Well, ask yourself this question….at what point does a suicide bomber strap to himself or herself instead of explosives, a nuclear weapon? or a plane, instead of just gasoline in its tanks, contains either biological material, or a suitcase nuclear device? This, I believe, is what is really in the back of many of our minds.

So at this Crossroads, let’s pull up a few chairs, open some bottles of wine, soda, or water, throw a potluck meal together, and allow everyone to have a voice. Bring all the points of view out into the light…allow no one to leave until a solution is agreed upon. Why would we be throwing this party at the Crossroads? because each representative would know and understand that the barricade to the future would not be able to be opened unless a solution is reached. No more manipulation, no more games, just the plain simple truth. With all conflicts, there are 50 different opinions. Each one has to be heard, and if we really care about freedom, majority rules, just like any democratic election….the one or the plan with the most votes wins. Otherwise, we will all be fragmented forever, and the barricade to the future will develop cobwebs.

So there it is….some of my thoughts. Do I have all the answers? absolutely not. Maybe you have some better ones than I do. But one thing’s for certain….at the Crossroads, there is no longer room for “Us or Them”….it must now be “We.”

Open Minds, Open Hearts,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

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