“Weren’t you afraid of the plane crashing?”
“Darrell," he answered, "the pilots don’t want to crash either.”
I never forgot my father’s casual and confidant response. It transformed my outlook. I remember thinking, "He’s right." I never thought about it like that before. If the pilots don’t want to crash either they’ll do everything in their power to make sure we don’t. My father’s simple response had the power to radically transformed my life, by forever eliminating my fear of flying.
In 1985, I was enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, it was the height of the Cold War and I had just finished a tour aboard the USCGC Jarvis patrolling the Bering Sea. One of our missions was monitoring suspicious Soviet ships fearing that they might be spying on us. These were tense times. My fellow military members and I would share our concerns; believing we were under the constant threat of nuclear attack by the Russians. It felt like we were sitting on a ticking time bomb that was about to go off and send us all to the front lines and certain death.
Then the musician Sting released a song titled, “Russians.” (See video below). One idea, one line of that song radically transformed my outlook. It was the line in the chorus, "... if the Russians love their children to.” My reaction was incredibly similar to that of my father’s idea of air travel and it's effect was just as profound.
I thought, "He’s right!" If the Russians love their children too then they don't want war either. This simple truth transformed the Russians from an army of anonymous American haters to vulnerable people just like us. No longer having to defend against hate, I felt compassion.
After having this realization, thanks to Sting, I decided to cooperate with it. I purchased a beach ball that was a globe of the earth. Each morning as I sat on my balcony to do my morning meditation I’d hug the globe and imagine love going around the world. In my mind’s eye I’d see Russian people smiling lovingly with their children as I did ours here in America. As I continued this practice I didn’t restrict it to just Americans and Soviets. If there was any news of hostile situations in other parts of the world, I’d imagine the same loving thoughts about those people with their families as well.
At the beginning of 1987, rumors of an eminent Soviet/American nuclear strike were once again spreading throughout the branches of the military. My prayers seemed to be working because I no longer felt disturbed by this. Deep down I felt there was no threat. At this time I was working as a special liaison with members from all five branches of the military. When one of my good friends and co-workers, a U.S. Marine Corps Sgt., asked me, “Aren’t you worried we’ll be at war soon?”
I responded, “No, The Russians don't want to go to war either."
"Really? I never thought about it like that before." He grinned, was relieved and we continued with our day's assignment.
Then within a few months the miraculous happened: the fall of the Berlin Wall. Coincidence? Maybe, but I choose to believe that love really is the most powerful force in the universe. Cooperate with it and you will live in peace and harmony.
Since it was recent reading from Unity’s Daily Word that inspired me to write this post, I thought I should share it.
I contribute to a world of peace through the power of my word.
As individuals we can each foster peace in our world. I can do something right now to contribute to greater peace: I can, through the power of my spoken word, extend a blessing to everyone in my awareness, even those I may consider my "enemy."
The act of blessing creates positive energy that dissolves negative thoughts and feelings. The blessing ripples out as a vibration of healing love to my community and the world. My words not only create my life, they can also create peace--both within me and within others. Therefore, I imbue my words with loving intention and share blessings that inspire and encourage others. In this way, I help bring harmony to each interaction and peace to the world.
Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing.--1 Peter 3:9