Here in the woods of Maine, I feel pretty insulated from the goings on in the world. I’m not concerned that a terrorist is going to spread some anthrax at the town library (we don’t even have one here in Gilead!) or that Bethel will be a bomb target. I am insulated, yet not unaffected by it all.

As I see it, there are two states of being that govern our psyche: love and fear. Our leaders are loudly beating the drums of war, hoping that they will reverberate in us in such a way that their rhythms will generate fear in our minds. Our leaders implore us to rally around them in fear.

I ask today, and every day that this war mongering is played out, that we, the people of this country who are blessed with such bounty and grace, look within our hearts and contemplate that there is another way that this can unfold. A way that does not involve the use of deadly force. A way that embraces teachings of all great spiritual beings who have walked this earth — Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama. Their messages hold that hatred and violence can only beget more hatred and violence. That at essence we are beings of love and compassion.

Whether you believe we need to go “”over there and get them”” or you believe we need to avoid war at all costs, I hope that you can find time in each day to send a message from your being — some might call it prayer — to the leaders of all countries involved, that they find in their own hearts the patience to recognize that the power of love and compassion are stronger than any fear generated by the mind.

While I wholeheartedly agree that Hussein, bin Laden, et. al., must be stopped, I ask that we help all these leaders — “good and bad” — find a way to come to a nonviolent existence on this planet.

Michael Poirier, Gilead


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