People, power and pollution revisited

Oddly enough, following last weeks “alphabetical editorial” on some life-altering H’s, I accidentally (and not by design) find myself again this week dealing with some “Pertinent P’s” as Power, People and Pollution.

Among the most threatening cries of the militant movements of the 60’s was the slogan, “Power to the People!” Of grave concern by many then (as now), especially by those wielding it, was and remains the fear that such power might be abused–Oh really?

Out of curiosity I looked up the word capitolism to find it defined as: “an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.”

Now dig this, its “antonym” was listed as Communism defined as “a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs. See Marxism;”-– our only options being the two extremes with no in between.

Of Webster’s many definitions of power we find: “possession of control, authority or influence over others.” Therefore power is often equated negatively due to its frequent abuse when mixed with egotism, greed and other ulterior motives. The most influential power within today’s society then is not any particular organized government or perceived administrative regime but the power of the combined media-. This combination can instantly distort facts to subliminally program society to think, feel, act and react in any desired way, ever mindful of the fact that negative news and warring mentalities, whether domestic or international, are always most popular.

I heard in this morning’s news for the very first time the estimated hundreds of thousands of lives lost by American strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan since war was waged there over ten years ago in search for two particular individuals, with greater value always placed on American lives. How on earth can anyone who truly believes in God (However perceived) place more value on one’s life according to their nationality, skin color, affluence or origin of birth?

The sophistication of war, once fought on designated battlefields by uniformed soldiers, redefines even today’s high-tech imagination as hundreds of thousands of civilian lives are continuously being lost while categorized as or in the pathway to suspected terrorists. WAR MUST STOP before we become victims of our own superior power. War is hate!

While being one of 20 to accompany Governor Linwood Holton to SAC Air Force Command to Offutt, Nebraska during the 1970’s, the first thing we learned during our 24-hour crash course of 6-weeks’ basic training was how to hate the “enemy.” You have to learn to hate before you can kill.

Now, as opposed to intolerant spiritual indoctrination, let’s reconsider the merit of mass spiritual education, the only thing that has never been tried as time and technology are now making it not only possible but preferable for our survival as men and nations.

As we for centuries have trained soldiers of war, let us now more vigorously put an end to spiritual pollution by train soldiers of love and peace. The Baha’i Holy Writings abound in instructions in gentleness and love from every stage until attaining the station of becoming “a sign of love, a center of love, a world of love, a universe of love! “Ah me,” we are asked. Have ye love? Then thy power is irresistible!” Only then can we (as men as nations) lead the world by Example and not by force. (Investigate! -1-800-22-UNITE).