FAITH AND PRAYERS essay
by Richard L. Provencher
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A spillage of media sadness through images and detailed stories of defects in human society hit all of us like a flood of tears. We are inundated with explosions, people hurrying in fear, faces often blood-splashed. And we can imagine the whine of ambulances in a-frenzy.
These details threaten to overcome our inner strengths, subdue our passion for living, and the question is- How to protect our loved ones and the society in which we are so comfortable? Will it require our high tech capabilities, or Repressive monitoring of our daily movements in society?
In most of Europe, and definitely in North America we have so much largesse the balance of the world looks to us with envious eyes. And we begin to use our well-financed armies and technology to secure a screen of false ointment that really only protects our physical structures.
Within our minds and hearts, we harbor a new fear that what we have become accustomed to in our lifetime is now threatened by unknown forces and the faces behind these actions are not only disruptive, but we do not understand them. And so these threats continue to leap from the pages of our newspapers showing colored pictures of devastation through bombs, bullets and the deliberate cause of unwanted human anguish.
Surely we know building fences, which segregate countries, ie Israel and Palestine; and the securing of airways at international airports simply presents morsels of opportunity for those dedicated to roles of violence.
I believe too many individuals, thinking they were suppressed from a lifetime of opportunity have simply have given up their dreams for societal change. And I believe we should give some of their children a chance at the brass ring of life.
Unfortunately, many of their parents have little education and a lifetime of sad memories.
And all that is left is the capture of an occasion, a brief entrance on the pages of an inky newspaper, moments of rapture such as the Irish gunmen, Mid-East suicide bombers and others who gave up on mankind and discussed co-operative gestures.
In the name of Nationalism they seem to feel these highly visible actions are precious moments of fame as they try to change the world. Sad to say they do not fully appreciate how much they are really destroying it. Too often, innocent civilians are caught up in misjudgments, such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and the September 11 tragedy in New York City.
Faith is the heartbeat of the world; Religion and Tradition sometimes a chain not only around our ankles, but may hinder positive relationships. Can we survive without love for each other regardless of gender, age, color or background? No! We need Faith & Prayer Houses around the world as participants with a common mission come together in strength and go on to present a vision of fellowship in the world.
Something must be done to accomplish a sense of peace in our world.
I believe FAITH & PRAYER are the key to this happening. My thoughts are designed to place persons with oppositional views in a test situation where they show a willingness to forsake total personal freedom on behalf of a security conscious world.
We must look to other avenues than the rush to acquire new toys, electronic surveillance equipment, increased policing and other modes of questioning of all who come within their watchful eye.
I am against giving up all freedoms for a more secure world. It is simply a shame we overreact to the damage being done by a small band of Rebels intent on promoting their brand of justice. Yes, perhaps there will be a small sense of security that something is being done mostly for political gain. This, in my estimation is not a cynical view.
Simply, it is an opinion on the silliness of the modes of security used. Some brilliant people, with misdirected intelligence, look to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent as a challenge to their egos. And unfortunately find ways to overcome these protective shields, in spite of the myriad of costly surveillance newly imposed on a frightened target population.
The Model for security I suggest is based on dealing with the root issues. I suggest the building of, or revamping seven edifice locations throughout the world, with individual quarters situated around a common eating and recreational area. Each building should harbor one representative from seven major cultures in the world.
I truly believe Faith is a knowing and understanding of all things possible. That a union of voices, humankind’s good will and co-operation are able to be part of the tune. And the recognition of tremendous abilities within the human race can be harnessed to achieve team goals.
As an example, this can take place in the setting up of Teaching Schools situated in strategic areas of low tolerance. Where it is known and fully understood that color and prejudice presents a problem. This may be in Northern Canada, Mexico, United States, Soviet Union, Mainland Europe, England or Africa.
Participants can be selected by a body within the United Nations as a model for understanding, with curriculum developed to highlight individual strengths, so they may teach tolerance for each other one day. I believe forty-nine persons selected be a mixture of men and women not yet in possession of a high school education, but possess untested capabilities.
They should be persons who hunger for a chance to get ahead and prove themselves worthwhile citizens in this community of nations.
Prayer is the second foundation stone, which I believe most important in the development of our ability to protect ourselves without sacrificing all of our freedoms. After all, isn’t it true each army usually prays to their God, usually before a most difficult challenge? This is a most sensitive time when unwanted thoughts are usually erased in pursuit of a personal bonding with their Creator.
As these selected young people reside in their Faith & Prayer sites they can become role models for understanding each other. I perceive this situation is where they give up all their freedoms, since they are now in isolation from the familiar family and territory in which they were raised.
And hopefully through association, they may soak up the importance within the lives and culture of each individual who now count as friends. Accentuating a developed friendship over a seven-week period, plans may be formulated to organize the next group of persons. All who complete this mission can perhaps be offered full scholarships for further learning.
Some may contest my ideas as simplistic, and unworkable. How do they know? I am a believer in the human soul and its ability to overcome, if the right reason came along. All the high technology in the world cannot overcome the human spirit.
The Americans did not subdue the Vietnamese people in their struggle, nor the Russians break the spirit of resistance in the Afghan people.
Imagine if we could somehow bring together seven peoples from seven distinct backgrounds, and have them learn from each other? Customs, language, dress, artifacts and other significant cultural items could be a part of their Kiosk built within these seven locations.
I do envision these buildings with a central area providing kitchen and dining, entertainment and general meeting areas, including seven additions for each participant. All the décor will be designed in their cultures and provide a showcase for others to witness and enjoy.
There should also be interpreters available to assist and live in each Faith & Prayer House. And also act as a ‘Mom and Dad’ couple overseeing the participants in the program who should be between eighteen and twenty-five years of age. We must begin a program with the ideals of the young.
I know this world has many gifted, and humanistic persons willing to be part of something as positive and far reaching as this program. And I am sure they would be delighted to live in and supervise the seven persons.
As to cost: Each country should have benefactors willing to underwrite all or share in the constructions costs, and provision of food. International companies should be pleased to assist with educational gifts on behalf of those successful in completing the full program.
It would not be fair to restrict the movements and future employment of these graduating candidates, but hopefully they will either remain with the program in some fashion, or return to their country of origin. And they may have a good influence on its future. Remember this is a long-term program and worth the investment and organizing required.
A year of planning, one to build and recruit should be the time period before beginning programs the third year. And each candidate should provide a weekly report of their impressions to a Board of Directors for each of the seven regions. The tiniest ripple in a body of water does have significance.
Yes, we do have a choice between security and freedom. However I believe too much security requires an abdication of our rights, and yet too much freedom allows some to run amuck within the definition of their own identity. They must not be allowed to hijack our future. And we also must not allow too restrictive policing harness our own personal growth.
Ideas expressed here, begun on a small scale, can be carefully monitored to see if this program is worthy of developing into a more meaningful adventure. As humans we can conquer the moon. What about the earth? And wouldn’t it be nice, if we did?
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© Richard L. Provencher 2004
FOOTPRINTS, a close family novel about a father’s search for a son he never met can now be ordered from SynergEbooks. Richard & Esther Provencher are also co-authors of two other novels soon to be published at: www.synergebooks.com
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