Wally Johnston composed this piece a few months after 9/11. He has since realized that the “terrorists” involved are state terrorists, wanting to take away our constitutional rights and dominate the world. But he says that his sentiments still stand.
His statement of his own reconciliation becomes quite relevant as we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
My Response to Terrorism
by Wally Johnston
Whereas the goal of terrorists is to entice me to fill myself with fear,
Whereas that fear, at its deepest level, is the fear of losing my present life,
Whereas I was ”terminal” at birth and only the timing is in question,
Whereas living my life with fear diminishes the value of my life,
Whereas my body’s natural response to perceived danger is to go into survival mode,
Whereas survival mode was designed to provide me with excess energy for a brief period of time for fight or flight,
Whereas survival mode inhibits my cerebral cortex, thus diminishing my abilty to solve problems,
Whereas my survival mode, while protecting me from external danger, exposes me to the internal danger of stress and a weakened immune system,
Whereas the healthiest environment for me physically, mentally and spiritually is an environment of love and acceptance,
Whereas that healthy environment cannot be maintained when I am filled with fear, and
Whereas an attitude of forgiveness of others is a gift to myself which releases me from the burden of carrying in my body the corrosiveness of hatred and resentment;
I, therefore, resolve that:
I will NOT be enticed to create in myself a state of fear that would not only diminish the value of my life but also make me vulnerable to illness and stupidity,
I will be alert to danger as well as attempts to manipulate my emotional state,
I will also notice those events that demonstrate the goodness in the world,
I will nurture an attitude of gratitude for the presence of those events,
I will not, can not and do not condone the horrible evils perpetrated by terrorists, but
I will strive to use those evil events to practice and learn the most difficult of all spiritual lessons, forgiveness.
Wally Johnston, August 2, 2002