intention of the New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project of contributing to a resolution of the controversy then raging over the proposed mosque at Ground Zero.
We knew then, as well as now, that what we had learned from guiding the resolution of the local “Middle East Crisis In Our Backyard” (See “Local Muslim Leader Talks Peace” Frederick News Post, August 18, editorials and comments – September, 2006) had brought us profound wisdom on how to successfully move through polarizations of this sort.
We had effectively guided our local controversy onto a, not insignificant, path of reconciliation (see Frederick News Post, December, 2006), as well as utilizing the lessons learned in this venue elsewhere.* We were, thus, eager to, once again, be called into service for a similarly, challenging project. Even if the “calling” was only that of our own minds and hearts. However, this one turned out to not need our assistance.
Reflecting back on our local Jewish/Muslim controversy of 2006, and contrasting it to how the Ground Zero mosque 2010 controversy was de-fused, I felt a degree of loss that we had been so lacking, locally, in outside support and intervention. It might have made a difference to where our local community stands today in terms of overcoming the polarization of diverse racial and faith-based groups.
Though there has been progress since, it has not been nearly enough. Unfortunately, deep wounds and scars still remain from the episode. What will these prompt in the future, one must, on occasion, contemplate. Hopefully, delayed healing and growth will emerge someday.
Nonetheless, as it turned out for New Horizons, other goals attracted our attention that, now in retrospect, appear to have made more appropriate use of that which the New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” has to contribute. Thus, we made our way from a consideration of how we could aid the mosque controversy back to our remodeling concerns for our Harpers Ferry Retreat Center, thinking globally, acting locally. With the retreat center as our revised focus, we re-grouped and moved forward, mostly behind the scenes.
Then in the early part of this year, based on to my growing distress over the national "mediocrity of the masses," my volunteer team agreed to support my desires to update the "old New Horizons' Game." As executive director of our organization, I could no longer sit on the sidelines. Nor could I allow this organization to be less involved than it could be. Since Labor Day, 1998 when I lost my eyesight, I had done a relatively miniscule amount of offering the best of what I have that could be used for the collective good.
Of course, I had been doing my best. Still, the knowledge and experience base I had accrued over my more than thirty-five years in working with groups and organizations to guide them to be exceptional, a far cry from mediocre, needed to be fully utilized and now!
Needless to say, I could not have imagined what would occur, if I pursued this course of outward expansion. My growing frustration and the impetus emerging out of it led to my coming out of the closet for both “old New Horizons” and for me. The result to-date is a monumental change in the complexion of New Horizons; a dramatic rebirth out of that which seemed dormant in my life. I am amazed at what it occurring. Seems a bit like Botox for an entire program, as well as for me. Just goes to show that timing is critical in both comedy and tragedy.
The endeavor to bring back and update the GAME put a spotlight on the need for my, still, unpublished “Random House Trilogy” manuscripts to be brought out of the mothballs. With all my expansiveness of vision, I had not seen the need, until it smacked me in the face, to share what I almost thought of as "history." How unseeing of me!
To make the best use of their own gifts, talents and experiences New Horizons’ volunteers and participants need an expansion of their understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of “old New Horizons.” I now see that these that I was holding back, until now, are needed in order to augment their knowledge base and wisdom and for us to move forward into a synergistic interweaving that would make the best use of us all. Without seeing it, I was robbing us of the opportunity to make optimum use of our collective best.
To make a long story short, we are now right sided up. With the generous contribution by Saba Direct, Inc. of a limited quantity of a portion of one of my unpublished manuscripts, it is now being used in our study groups. It is also beginning to be used, as well, as one of the basic texts for our new “Possible Society In Motion” think tank.
Only one month into our Possible Human, Possible Society Study, programs related to it, the think tank and the manuscript availability are now on the drawing board but not far off. The first one, a panel-led discussion and potluck dinner event, is already moving forward for Sunday, October 23. Details to be posted.
Thus, as we cross the threshold into Fall and Winter that Labor Day brings, our project has now transitioned into a mega-intentioned, three year study of the “Possible Human, Possible Society.” I, for one, though still challenged with my eye problems, am increasingly fulfilled by taking our efforts out from behind the scenes and countless returns to the drawing board into the "big" world.
The future for New Horizons bodes well in the area of serving our various communities, locally, regionally and nationally. Visible impact is expected in the coming year ahead for the very first time since I lost my eyesight Labor Day weekend, 1998! All this, of course, is baring the unforeseen, of which we have had plenty.
The entire package that is all New Horizons has ever been or will be; past, present and future, is New Horizons' gift to you as well as our celebration. Thank you for your support.
More to come.