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When I was fourteen or so, at a Saturday night dinner party, a drunken uncle attempting to inspire a young lad told me if I really wanted to make a significant contribution to humanity, I should either discover the scientific proof for the existence of God, or devise a plan for world peace. He related his desire for world peace from his hard-won experience living through the German occupation of Lithuania and the aftermath of the Second World War. Both my parents had lived through World War Two and I had heard my share of war stories growing up. The Great War was the great tragedy and turning point for many of the elder folk gathered in the family living room. This uncle said the basic problem was people killing one another for no good reason. His proposition, succinctly stated, was there must be a way people can settle all the conflict in the world. Being young and impressionable I took him seriously and made this a life-assignment. At the time, 1974, I assumed other people, older and wiser than myself, were hard at work pursuing this loftiest of endeavors.
After ten years in the costume jewelry business as a retailer, importer, manufacturer and wholesaler, I sought refuge from the wreckage of my decade-long entrepreneurial escapade, so in January, 1993, I escaped on a two-year transcontinental journey, Along the way I met many well-intentioned people disenchanted with the world much the same way I was. I thought there must be a way to bring good people together to do a new thing. After meeting a wide range of people and experiencing many local cultures across the vast North American landscape, I began to envision what a better, more enlightened world would look like. I flashed back to the family living room and crazy Uncle Ed, and recalled the assignment given me twenty years earlier. I came to believe the true efficacy of homeopathic medicine would prove the existence of divinity because a homeopathic medicine derives its healing power from something no scientific instrument can detect--not from the substance per se, rather the essence of the substance. Yet if one came up with a scientific proof, people would have to believe the science. Given this quandary, I chose the world peace assignment. I quickly realized it takes a change of heart to live in peace, and that peace is not going to happen accidentally or spontaneously. Peace is going to start with a group of people somewhere, then many groups of people in many places and spread from the local level to the national then the international level.
Once one completes a vision quest and starts to write a book, it’s hard to stop. So I became a good writer not because I wanted to be a good writer, rather because I had something I urgently needed to express. Sorry it took so long, and I had to earn my college degree in the meantime, but here it is for your reading pleasure. It’s a trip--I know you’re going to like it--maybe love it.