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Some Ideas to Consider

By Remy Benoit

We, the U.S., are the big guys on the block.

We have the military strength.

We have the democracy, even if we are sometimes very careless with it.

The way we use them will determine how our ideas of democracy will spread. Indeed, it will determine the survival of our democracy.

How we use them will determine how people all over the world view us.

How we lead will determine how the world responds.

Something a young man said to me a few years back came to mind this morning.

He had recently been graduated from high school, a model all around student, an honors student, musician, etc. He told me that through the years of school he had not been treated with respect as a person by his teachers, but simply told what he needed, and this is his word, what to regurgitate to get the diploma. He did not like that; felt that school would have been a whole different experience, that he would have really learned, if there had been respect both ways, and real communication.

That is something to consider on a global scale.

When I was in the classroom, I worked very hard to make the students understand that all people were just that; people, with a culture, a history, personal baggage; dreams, wishes, pain, disappointments.

There is not one person on the face of the globe from whom we could not learn something.

That requires treating others with respect; that requires communication.

Perhaps also that requires us to learn to act rather than re-act.

Take a Walk Down History Lane with Dan Ellsberg and John Dean, reading this interview by keeping in mind how individuals make history, for better, or worse.

From Truthout, Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez Nixon, Wiretaps and Government Secrets.

There are two major factors at work in what they are saying: fear, and courage. What is your take on this?

Perhaps our vision of a better world should begin with an assessment of how things are, really are, here at home. Barbara Ehrenreich: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. And with a look to the future of all of us Duane Elgin: Promise Ahead : A Vision of Hope and Action for Humanity's Future.

We might also consider what these people who have been on the "front lines" have to say:

Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor: Cobra II.

Madeline Albright: The Mighty and the Almighty : Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs.

Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz: The Battle for Peace : A Frontline Vision of America's Power and Purpose.

John W. Dean: Worse Than Watergate : The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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