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Wren Wrants A-Z ...

A Letter To My Daughter

A PumkinHead in the White House

A Real Bad Day For Witchcraft

A Real Reason To Vote

A Time for War, a Time for Peace and a Time to Browse the Bookstore

A Wonderful Piece of News

The Aftermath of Columbine High School

Beating A Not-So-Hasty Retreat

Behind Enemy Lines

Breakfast Will Be Served In Fifteen Minutes...

Building a Circle of Trust

But What Will People Think?

By Their Furniture, Ye Shall Know Them

Caution: Restricted Area

Cleaning Out The Junk Drawer

Community Power Who Holds it?

Community Thoughts on Tempest Smith

Compelling without the Yelling

Confessions of a News Junkie

The Consistancy of Change...


Coping with Grief

Cramming It Down Our Throats...

Damned if you do and Damned if you don't

Declaring Your Personal Independence Day

Did Your World Change Too?

Dreaming in The Dark...

There is No Zuul

There's a Rabbit In The Moon...

Excavating the Dinosaur Altar

Fair Use, Copyright and the Pagan Net

Feeding Our Young

The First Day

Gather 'Round The Fire

Getting Back To Nature

Getting Back To Normal

Getting Rid of What Bugs You

Gifts That Keep On Giving...

The Giving Circle

Gods In A China Shop...

Good And Evil: In The Shadow Of Littleton And The Garden Of The Gods.

Good Will Toward Men

The Great Hamster Myth

Happy Beltaine!

Happy Brigid's Day Everyone!

The Heart of A Mechanic

Helping Hands

Helping Our Own

Hidden Hatred Haunts Pagans

Home is Where the Spirit Is

Homosexuality and Public Policy

The Household of Priests and Priestesses

If The Hissy Fits

In A Mirror Darkly...

In Your Dreams

The Internet Reaches beyond Washington

It All Happens Locally

It Is Your Destiny

It's Maypole Week 'Round the World

It's Tribal Time!

January Arrives Wearing A White Coat

Judging Amy -- Wren's Thoughts

Killed a Goat Today

Knot Charming

Learning How To Fly

Life With Mikey

Listening To The Story

Listening To The Woods

Living In A Banana Republic

Living Through A Drought

Logging On and Speaking Out!

The Long and Short Of It

The Love of Ordinary Things

Mabon... a Man for all Seasons

Magick's Arrow

Mamas, Don't let your Babies...

The Media Story Is Often Not The True One

Mercury Has Left the Building

Minding Your News P's and Q's

Mixed Blessings

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Where The Honor Is...

Author: Wren
Posted: September 9th. 2002
Times Viewed: 7,886

Every day there is something that would make you afraid, and you have to try not to let it stop you."

"That's where the honor is. Honor is not in not in acting because you are afraid. Nor is there honor in acting when you are not afraid. But acting when you are afraid, that's where the honor is." -- (Lucille Clifton from The Language of Life; Bill Moyers).

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York City, the Pentagon and Flight 93. The repercussions of that one day in 2001 are still very much with us. Many people in NYC suffer from posttraumatic syndrome. Survivors and those who lost friends or family members or co-workers try to both move on and to remember at the same time. Perhaps we all are struggling in that in-between place. Life does go on, it's true. But when your life has been touched by a tragedy that forever alters the course of your life, it is natural to feel ambivalent. Torn between honoring the past and looking forward to the future, we grapple with feelings of regret, of anger, of fear and of optimism. We exist neither there nor here but somewhere within both. And because we have not as yet completely recovered -- if ever we will -- I think that it is safe to say that things today are not as they once were. That is not unusual. Each day always differs from each and every other day. What is unusual --shocking even -- was the unexpected and sudden form by which we all were thrust into realms of unpredictability and targeted annihilation.

Since 9/11/01, the world has changed. We are less naive. We are perhaps more suspicious. But I don't believe that people have changed so much as the systems that manage people have changed. That is, the world's political and religious governments have responded to the 'crisis' of terrorism by imposing new laws or issuing new (or revamped old) directives. How these sometimes sensible, sometimes overreaching, steps will alter our collective futures remains to be seen. That these 'cures' might steer us into a global society rife with secrecy, paranoia, distrust and fear of anyone or anything 'not like us' is a very poignant cause for concern.

What is the post 9/11 world like today? We want to know what you think. This week, we have resurrected our 'Pagan Perspectives' forum and that is our question to you. Post your thoughts, comments, rants and raves at: 9/11: One Year Later. What's Changed?

A natural, if belated, personal reaction to a robbery or a mugging would be to become more vigilant. One would perhaps install new locks and an alarm system or to take a self-defense course. An overreaction would be to never leave your house again or to shoot on sight anyone who stepped foot into your front yard whatever their intentions or purpose.

Fear is such a primal emotion. And even more so when the threat cannot easily be identified or eliminated. Such shadows can then become the bogeymen that the systems that manage people use to better manage the people that it determines may need some management. 'Someone' or 'something' is lurking out there. You don't know who or what they/it might be. But then the system sweeps in with promises that its agents can find this menace if you only allow it to (fill in the blanks here). It sounds like a good trade-off. At least at the beginning when the initial fear and the sudden shock has not worn off as yet. In an emergency, people will allow for more extreme measures to be undertaken on their behalf to help stabilize the situation and to ease them back into a sense of normalcy.

But 'normalcy' is a hard critter to pin down. In the days shortly after the 9/11 events, we were urged to return to 'normal'. And we tried. As the months wore on, however, the definitions of 'normalcy' kept changing. Is 'normalcy' now having one's privacy violated for any reason deemed necessary by the system? Is it 'normal' to label entire peoples or religions as 'evil' because of the actions of a few? Is it 'normal' to suspend both civil and human rights guidelines in order to establish someone's guilt or innocence? Is it 'normal' to be afraid now not only of those who might have carried out the attacks, but also of those who swear that they will protect us from future ones? Is this the new 'normal'?

It might be. A lot of people, mainly Americans, have a notion in the back of their minds that the 'new normal' is a temporary condition. That the systems will find the culprits and deal with them in one way or another and then we will go back to something closer to the 'normal' that we remember. For those who might entertain this thought -- even if they have never fully or consciously scrutinized it -- I have two words for you: Forget it.

The system plans to make these changes permanent. The 'Homeland Security Department' is not a temporary agency. It is designed to be a permanent section in the government of the United States. A new building for this department is already in the planning stage. It is never going away. Let that sink in: The Homeland Security Department is designed to be permanent. The system for managing people now has a permanent agency in its system for officially managing people. That is one reality of the 'new normal' that is here to stay.

Systems are not inherently good or bad. Like magick, systems are neutral, in and of themselves, until the energy therein is directed towards a specific purpose. It may be that the Homeland Security Dept. --albeit a new tool in the system -- might prove to be a force for good. I hope that it does since it is now 'normal' to need such a system. But I have my doubts. Serious doubts. The power that this system is in the process of drawing to itself virtually without supervision or restraints is ominously disturbing. Humanity has been down this road before and it didn't turn out well.

But we are a part of the system, too. We have been a part of what is 'normal' since the very beginning of this country, this United States of America. We have seniority. We have predominance. We have first dibs and last say. For we are those whom the systems that manage people must obey. The system only exists to manage people because we, the people, decided that certain systems could be established in the first place. It is not we who answer to the system; it is the system that must answer to us. For we are not just people; we are The People and this is what we said:

" We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

I agree with Ms. Clifton where she says, "But acting when you are afraid, that's where the honor is." For certainly as we, the people, first undertook this experiment in freedom, we had much to fear. Yet through the years, we have proven our point and strengthened our resolve countless times and thus this country and this constitution has become a source of pride and of celebration. But I would add something else.

It is not only in the acting in the face of fear --although the power of that initial step cannot be underestimated -- but it is in the determination of what action to take where the proof of true nobility of purpose will be revealed.

We, the people...

That is where the honor is.

Wren Walker
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, September 9th., 2002

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