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We Must Do Better

As a French speaking American citizen I am particularly focused on the recent tragedies in France. A French friend of mine has a nephew who lives in Paris, that nephew lost 2 friends in the Bataclan carnage. The mood in Paris, in his words, is one of anger, fear and sadness. 'Like a giant hangover' is how another nephew of his coined it. As I love New York City I also love Paris – the city from which New York took so many cues in liberty, art, science, medicine, and culture. I understand the feelings of the French people. My heart goes out to them as I remember well how I felt in the days, weeks, months, and still to this day after the September eleventh attacks here at home. We must stop this cycle of worldwide terrorism and violence, we must do better.

With respect to terrorism, it is not enough to build a more effective short term emergency response. It is not enough to bring to justice those responsible for the acts of terrorism and violence. It is not enough to increase security, surveillance and monitoring. Why? Because this is not a complete solution. Because it is clear by many statistics that violence and terrorism around the world are on the rise exponentially. Because a better solution includes a well communicated heartfelt intention for a new and better outcome. The question is how we can evolve our world society so that reprehensible acts of violence diminish to a rarity rather than the increase we are witnessing to today. Our centuries old, short term, commodity centric plan of; protect the infrastructure, protect the oil, protect the gas, then rebuild, using non-budgeted tax dollars response paradigm, is never going to produce different results – never. We need a much more comprehensive plan. We must do better, one person at a time, starting at home.

In addition to our historical short term responses, we need long term recovery plans that include a realistic people centric approach. Going to war is too easy, because the required time is not taken to plan for post war recovery and reconciliation. We know that this oversight is the source of our repeating problems. Since we seem to be in a constant state of war, the question is why are we not taking a lesson from modern emergency management, the way we do for the inevitable natural hazards we face? We need to have a pre-established plan for the recovery phase prior to going to war, it needs to be a plan with heart, and it needs to be a plan to end the need for war.

We have well developed recovery plans for the likely natural and non-violent manmade risks we face. For war, we need the same thing, a long term recovery plan that includes the people centric things that are missing: inter-faith, and inter-social communications, heart, compassion, education, equanimity, parity, gratitude, and kindness. We can and must do this in advance for the clearly foreseeable emerging conflicts. This is the path to different outcomes. This will not be easy at first, nor will it inexpensive, but in the end we will save countless lives, a fortune in money, and finally produce a safer world. The response we need will require that our legislators think and act beyond election cycles – this will be the most difficult thing of all! True solutions to our problems will require several generations to bear fruit. The sooner we start, the sooner we will see true progress. Until then, we can try and be prepared, we can improve our emergency response, but we cannot expect things to really change, and to finally get better.

In “free” societies we have the power to elect legislators, we vote. To do better we need to improve our ineffective political system, and increase the numbers of people who vote. We need to demand greater ideas, greater integrity, and greater fortitude from the people we elect to represent us. We need to demand more than the tired campaign rhetoric which we can all repeat in our sleep. We need educated pre-election discourse, and a media that cares about our future, not just ratings. One way to bring about change in the United States and many other countries is through local and state ballot initiatives. The ballot initiative at minimum can send a powerful message, and that’s what we need. Another way is through education initiatives.

In Summary; be the change we need, so we can all do better. Start locally by getting involved in a volunteer capacity, study the local and national issues and vote smarter. Ask your fiends and family to vote, and to discuss our issues in a substantive way. Until we do something different things will continue to get worse. Vote with your children’s, children in mind. And remember that true long term solutions to our problems, both locally and eventually abroad, will require several generations to bear fruit. We must do better!

Je nous souhaite de meilleurs resultats – I wish us better outcomes

Je nous souhaite la paix - I wish us peace

- Felix

I would love to hear your thoughts and to start a conversation.

Professionally, I love working in the international life-safety, electronic, and physical security world. I also care greatly about business continuity program development, especially in the light of our global community and the greatly expanding IT and environmental related risks we face. Mostly I care about people – all people – especially our future generations. I serve as a Vice-Chair in ASIS International’s Southern Connecticut Chapter as a board certified CPP. I am an active committee member of the National Eagle Scout Association in the CT Yankee Council promoting professional development. I can be reached .

#peace #peacebuilding #peaceeducation #preventingterrorism

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