Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Power Of One

A new series by Anastasia, begins today, collected under the label “Overcoming Polarization"  and a new label, The Power Of One, added to reflect the importance of this series -- and -- its relevance to today's challenges in this era of social and political upheaval.

With this developing series, offered as one contribution I can make, in my newly, developing role as a more outspoken voice, aiding in the collective effort to keep moving forward in these challenging times, with every intention of being a "Possible Human in "Our"  Possible Society," please be sure to help the discussion I will be initiating by commenting on my articles, posting your thoughts, in response to my own, directly on to this site, or by sending your comments to me at: SuperSleuthDSW@aol.com.

To get us started, I offer you some of the background history of how New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project came into being. In this way, the principles – and – the rationale behind our project and what is presented on this site can take on a deeper and richer significance for you, our loyal readers.

One place to begin, seemingly apt, for my purposes here, is to share with you how the Small “Zones of Peace” Project has been developing, behind the scenes, corresponding to what we have been doing in our local community of Frederick, Maryland -- and how these efforts have been reflected on this site.

(FYI: Our program is designed to be offered on regional, national and international levels. We have chosen, however, in our initial phases to focus on the local, holding with a philosophy congruent with our small "zones of peace" mission, to think global and act local.)

I began writing articles for this site in late 2009, somewhat under pressure of New Horizons’ Communications Chairperson, Lisa. Here is the first one posted, which was actually done by her as I did not yet know how to write blogs.

At the time I had barely begun applying what I had learned as a psychotherapist, running a therapeutic community, as a treatment approach, and as a researcher of psycho-sociological principles, beyond the small group, clinical setting. So what I had to say about transferring this knowledge and experience base to civic affairs was still very much in its infancy, at the time of our first postings --- and correspondingly the programs we were doing then.

Nonetheless, one particular, very dramatic experience that would be my initiation by fire, so to speak, set me on a course to move beyond my earlier professional venue, the clinical psychological arena. It was the episode I have come to name “The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard;” an incident so life changing for me, as well as a hand full of others, that it has become the baseline for all professional endeavors of mine since, especially New Horizons Coffee House Conversations initiative.

You can read an early piece I wrote about the episode in this article, The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard, here. In it, you will see the seeds of what was later to grow into New Horizons Coffee House Conversations Project.

One very interesting piece of the back story of this article, looking back on it, was not what I was saying, in that article, but what I was not! The fact was that in writing that article I was actually hiding essential parts of myself while, simultaneously, placing myself in a visible position by authoring an article for publication. 

Hiding important parts of myself, including my thoughts and feelings about things, had become my habit over many years. This began with my needing to protect myself from a mentally ill mother who was emotionally torturing me throughout childhood and into my early adulthood.  I was finally able to extricate myself  from her and the treacheries she brought into my life when I was twenty-five.

If you look closely at this history of mine, you will see how it came to be that I developed hiding as a habit. And you will, also, likely see how I might have become a late bloomer in catching up with myself, with my normal childhood development tasks, and how that came to be.

The most important fact, related to this article, to get us started on this new series I am introducing today, is that I was hiding that I was, at the time of the Jewish Muslim controversy incident, president of the local chapter of a national Jewish women’s social action group. And I was incensed that this group whose designated mission touted it as “the most potent, most effective, most satisfying place where you can take … action and become a positive force for change” was being almost totally remiss in handling a situation of serious, local significance, especially for the Jews of that locale. 

In the process some of the women, key leaders in the local organization, were playing “dirty tricks” as harmful to community well being, in certain ways, as if they had been Nixon’s White House.  Super Sleuth that I became in the process, I found them out and am, now, in the process of writing out my complete tale in a full length book titled, surprise, surprise, The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard.

In writing my original article on the issue I wanted to expose the contradictions and the consequences of people NOT coming together and talking to one another in times of dissonance to overcome polarization and, consequently, divisiveness that serves no one, in the end.

See, now, how this led to the formation of New Horizons Coffee House Conversations?

I think I did a decent job in making my point in that article. But ---- what I was not saying was: 1. I was the local president, at the time, of a national Jewish women’s social action group that, ideally, could have (and should have, in my opinion) stepped up their "social action" in this instance; but 2. Who elected, by default, meaning a lack of responsibility to, instead, allow some in their group to revert to “dirty tricks; and 3. I was watching this happen and being rather passive, in my own role by not speaking up more assertively.

I learned a lot of lessons from this "failure of nerve" of mine. Hopefully, someday, when the time is right I will be able to remedy my failings through my writing and discussing the messages of my book.

Nonetheless, there have been almost as many lessons for me, already put to good use in coming through this episode, as the countless ones I learned from Watergate. I am intending to share some of these with you, here, on this site in the coming days, weeks and months. 

The ones I hope to share, for our purposes here, will have one commonality; demonstrating the power of “one” and its relationship to the many.

As a caveat I must put, up front, however, one limitation I foresee. Whenever, I set my mind to writing a “series” of articles on a particular topic, life being what it is in these fast moving times that the internet has brought us, I often interrupt one theme in order to take up another one that seems more pressing at the moment.  So please, if you are interested in this theme, “The Power of One,” check the “ labels” for this site to find the continuation of articles on this theme. They will be gathered under the label, “Overcoming Polarization” and our new label, added today to support your ease in following our message, The Power Of One.

For now, I leave you with this thought I discovered from reading about Helen Keller, one of my great teachers, as you may well imagine, from my being and recovering from blindness for eight years. Helen Keller, apparently heard it, originally from one of her dear friends.
I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything, But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. Everett Edward Hale
Remember these words, now, in this time of challenge! And, make it your business to do “something” each and every day that exemplifies your being a Possible Human In this Possible Society.

More to come.


  1. From Valerie (Anastasia's colleague from the International Transactional Analysis Association (ITAA)

    Anastasia, Please tell me what this means?

  2. Anastasia's Answer to Valerie,

    OMG! It was so self-evident to me, it hadn't occurred to me that it might not be to others.

    But now that you are asking I will get right on it to explain.

    Thanks so much for letting me know. I think your asking will set off my next direction on the topic.