by Delores L. Adams, an American Citizen
Living in oft-precarious times, lest we all must not forget: "Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall," Proverbs 16:18, KJV.
Being a concerned American citizen, I am writing this post in response to an op-ed by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin to the American people and our political leaders that appeared in The New York Times on September 11, 2013 titled, A Plea for Caution from Russia: What Putin Has to Say to Americans about Syria.
First, kudos to President Barak Obama and President Vladimir Putin for their efforts thus far in coming together to resolve the critical issue of Syria's exploitation of prohibited weaponry against its own people recently. Let us hope and pray that this team of old rivals will keep it together and welcome others involvement so as to bring a speedy end to this current world crisis without the dreadful use of military force.
As a devout American citizen and firm supporter of President Obama whom I believe to be a spiritually mature and just leader, I would like to thank President Putin, whom I don't know but hopefully is now a good leader, for taking the time to speak to us plainly and directly with a cautionary message as well.
Frankly, being a mature senior citizen, I welcome this kind of talk, which is always a great start. Thus, this gives me hope that President Obama now has the possibility of another equal partner in this highly critical situation filled with intense dread and great expectations concurrently.
The World is Tired of War
Indeed, the world is tired of war and even rumors of impending war. Yet, today is a beneficial time in the evolution of world affairs. For, or so it seems, it is only when we as an individual or a collective grows tired of experiencing overwhelming loss and despair that we finally become willing to throw off the idle chatter of the ego and make a definitive change, now.
Thus, here again, humankind has created a crisis! And so, our war-weary world now stands at the ancient crossroads of destruction and opportunity, to choose once again.
Today, with modern weaponry available to either side, world destruction, as we know it, is within reach; thus, the definitive choice is clear. Either we continue to choose sides while deluding ourselves with foolish rhetoric or we stop and truly listen to each other, which involves hearing what we don't always like to hear. Now this is the difficult part, as the human ego will fight us on this, but it can and must be done!
Everything is about Relationships
As with our established relationships with friends, family members and the community at large, we learn, even as children, that in order to survive we all must be willing to respect the other person's point of view...like it or not...and strive to maintain that relationship, which we usually do naturally.
When things go awry, as they sometime will, one side will often seek to maintain the relationship by talking through it peacefully, which usually works. With patience, humility and sometimes a whole lot of forgiveness, the relationship is saved.
And since this relationship dynamic runs throughout the human drama, so it is on the world stage where diplomacy is always the better way and works with the right intention.
Putin's Op-Ed Must be Taken Seriously
Instead of seeing President Putin's widely discussed New York Times op-ed as an affront to our way too fragile egos, which many on the web and the cable networks seemed to have taken to heart, could we see things differently, perhaps? Thus, let cooler thoughts prevail.
After all, another world war is attempting to consume us and we best heed all sensible warnings while we are still able to talk to each other. Frankly, I don't think President Putin is the type to issue irrational statements.
Having read Putin's editorial, I am stunned by the hateful reactions of some of our political leaders and career journalists, though not surprised. Thankfully, President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our other reasonable leaders have the necessary ability to process President Putin's message with respect to the gravity it deserves.
Just the Facts Y'all
With many, it seems, the most shocking point of contention in Putin's op-ed is that someone in the world would dare tell us that we Americans are not that exceptional. Unbelievable!
Of course, much like the rest of the International Community, Americans have made great contributions to the world. Yet, we have not solved all of our own endemic problems let alone the world's problems. Now that would be exceptional, indeed!
Generally owing to unresolved issues between Israel and some in the Arab world, in 2001, just days before the pervasive attack on U.S. soil, the U. S. walks out of the U.N. World Conference Against Racism ("WCAR"), a seminal event toward world peace and harmony held in Durban, South Africa. Regrettably, for the same unresolved reasons in 2001, the U.S. refused to attend the U.N.'s next WCAR then scheduled for April 2009.
Naturally, both Obama and Putin are well aware of the impact of these past events on the present. Yet, while there are other world problems, perhaps more dire, hopefully the International Community (including the U.S.) will attend to the troubling issues of universal racism and xenophobia long before it is too late!
After the horrors of September 11, 2001, did we not have our then U.S. president touting "you're either with us or against us" followed by over a decade of a very bad war, as are all wars, which we are still reeling from? Thankfully, we are learning from this past mistake.
Thus, today's worldwide call, including most Americans, against war on Syria is coming through loud and clear.
President Obama is listening and progress is underway see: U.S., Russia agree on Syria weapons, Obama says force still option and U.S., Russia Talks on Syria's Arms Make Progress.
So, these are the facts thus far. Consider them well!
Universal Love, a Path to World Peace
Actually, Universal Love is not a myth or a fairy tale; being quite real, it is the only force that truly saves the world. Which costs nothing but our willingness to give up our hateful prejudices and extend love to all of humanity.
Thus, being open to truth and, yes, even, honest criticism from a perceived enemy is a good start. Being willing to respect others and their contributions to the world is a greater start. And, finally, being willing to love our global neighbors as ourselves is the best start ever.
Here is hoping that together we will pass through this world crisis and be better for it. Peace and Universal Love to all. Keep the faith!
Delores L. Adams, an American Citizen