One year later. Well, here we are. We pay our respects to those who died in the attacks which, when they occurred, left all of us with more questions than answers. But what about all the innocent people who have died in the new "War on Terrorism"? Do we mourn for them too? If not, why not? Do we value human life, or not? It would seem that now, as well as before 9-11-2001, we do not. We have given ourselves the power to end the life of a person, be it with a cruise missile, a machine gun, or a lethal injection. We have the power, but so do our enemies.

Why do we have enemies? Why can't we all just get along?

The answer to these questions lies in our collective level of consciousness. So many of us are stuck in a level which is polarized into an "us or them" mentality. Only by coming to the realization that all humans are our brothers and sisters, and all have the right to live their lives in peace, free from fear, free from oppression, and free from ignorance, will we be able to overcome the depressing situation we find ourselves in, where human lives only have value if we decide they do, where knee-jerk reactions take precedence over well thought out responses, where real spiritual values are snuffed out by religious dogmas and superstitions.

In the days following last year's attacks, I was filled with anger. I was almost ready to join the military to help get vengeance on those who had attacked us. I was ready to throw out all of my values and join in the fight. Luckily, I never drove to the local recruitment office. Slowly, I came to my senses. I realized that the best thing that I could do was to stick to my daily routine as best as I could. And that is exactly what I did.

I had known for a long time that every crisis could also be an opportunity. The problem that we are faced with is how to turn this crisis, perhaps the greatest crisis of modern times, into the greatest opportunity possible. I believe that the opportunity for us all is the same: to raise our consciousness. To come to a new level of understanding and enlightenment. To learn how to bring peace into our lives and into the lives of all sentient beings.

We must focus our attention on the good, the true, and the beautiful. We must learn to love ourselves and to love everyone, even our enemies. We must hope that by doing these things, we will be able to conquer our three greatest enemies: Fear, Ignorance, and Unconsciousness.

Truth, Love, and Wisdom,

Don Hodges


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