This book is for humanity.
If everyone does just a little
we will soon have a much better world.
By Michael Douglas Carlin
with contribution by
Published by Michael Douglas Carlin at Shakespir
© 2008, 2012, & 2016 Michael Douglas Carlin.
All Rights Reserved.
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We can have peace in our lifetime if we all do our part.
This must be a partnership of every individual, non-profit organization, corporation, and government – all working together to bring the basic needs to all of humanity.
It is time for humanity to grow up. Our “Identity Crisis” is ridiculous. We run around like little spoiled brats sweeping our messes under the carpet rather than deal with them in a forthright manner. Turning a blind eye to problems like homelessness ends up costing more than facing the problem with housing, meals, and services that recycle lives and get them back on the road as productive members of society.
The debate between Socialism and Capitalism continues because of the merits of both systems. We hear the entrepreneur say, “I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps and was never given a thing…why should we give them anything?” We also hear those that have been helped by social programs say, “I reached out to the government for help during a time of crisis in my life and now, I own my own business.” The engine of capitalism cannot be refuted. It is what has driven the global economy. The benefits of socialism cannot be refuted either. That is why the debate is so compelling.
The overused phrase, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime” also has merits. We need to assume nothing during the education process that teaches men, women and children to “fish”. We need to understand that in today’s complicated world the process of teaching men women and children to fish is a process that may take time. Not everyone has the ability to fish while learning. The reason why we should help people that can’t pull themselves up by their own bootstraps is that it is the right thing to do. Helping people while they learn is more humane and costs less than sweeping them under the carpet.
Let’s put the debate of Capitalism and Socialism to rest. Turning a blind eye to people who have no ability to “fish” is no longer acceptable. A layer of socialism where we teach men, women and children to “fish” fueled by Capitalism for those who take personal responsibility and want all that capitalism provides can coexist and flourish.
Let’s move the debate forward to renewable systems that prepare and plan for the next thousand years.
This is the Prescription For Peace:
3. Health Care
4. Personal Safety
7. Empower Women
All leading to HOPE
Thomas Jefferson wrote the words: “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”
If we have the right to life then we have the right to three square meals a day, a roof over our head, access to quality health care, personal security, an education and a job. For how could we ever begin to experience liberty or pursue happiness without the basic needs being met.
“Our work will not be done until every man, woman, and child alive has three square meals a day, a roof over their head, access to quality health care, personal security, an education and a job.” – Michael Douglas Carlin
This book is dedicated to every drop of precious blood that has been spilled in the cause of peace. So many men, women and children have dreamed of a day where peace ruled the world. So many sacrificed their lives and limbs believing that their actions would one day lead to peace. Was that collective sacrifice in vain? I think most of humanity thinks peace will forever be elusive. I have come to believe that peace can be achieved. I hope you will forgive my course and cumbersome language as I outline what I believe can be a path toward a thousand years of World Peace. I am not alone in this belief. I have learned from many people along the way. The most influential man in my life has been my fellow Knight of Malta and Supreme Commander of our order, Sir Edward. He has demonstrated through his example many of the principles contained within the pages of this book. I met him when his hair was brown and he was a young man caught up in the wiles of Hollywood. I witnessed his transformation from drugged out movie producer to full time humanitarian. His life change encompassed devoting his entire life to those less fortunate. Not that he wasn’t always a humanitarian, but that remained a single facet that occasionally rose to help those in need dating back to his teenage years. That facet rose in his life to crowd out the many other facets and through his lifetime spent doing relief work in the most serious conflict areas and natural disasters of our lifetimes. In some of the most dangerous places he developed a philosophy that he shared with me. That philosophy is contained within the pages of the first book, “A Prescription For Peace.” I became a lightning rod for all things “peace” upon publication of that book. I also learned so many things from my very unique perspective while I was sitting at the intersection of so many amazing people and perspectives. Much of what I am about to share with you is how I reconciled so many passionate people who seem to have agendas that are at a cross purpose. As I hope you will see there are puzzle pieces that fit neatly together even though at first glance the patterns appear to be incongruent. What seems so unfathomable actually comes together quite nicely. People from so many backgrounds with varying belief systems are all a part of ushering in the era of World Peace.
We have come to understand so much about our home, Mother Earth. There are plates that are constantly moving that create pressure. When that pressure gets built up enough there are radical shifts that create earthquakes and tsunamis. I experienced a number of earthquakes having grown up in Los Angeles. Sir Edward spent eight months in the aftermath of the Indonesia/Sri Lanka Tsunami. The plates will not stop moving anytime soon. Also, hurricanes, typhoons, tornados, floods, fires and other natural disasters will keep humanity on our toes even after war has gone out of favor. The need to prepare for many life changing events is part of the fabric of being human. Peace doesn’t mean that we stop the Earth from changing.
Peace doesn’t mean that we all speak one common language and have a single culture. Peace is simply the absence of armed conflict. Peace is the absence of war. Peace doesn’t mean that we no longer disagree; peace means that we solve disagreements civilly. Peace does not mean the weak become the slaves of the strong. Peace comes from equal standing under the law without any citizens being above the law or any being excluded from full protection of the law. Peace also does not leave those behind that have fallen upon hard times. Peace provides them with the means to get back on their feet without being enabled to feed off of the system – experiencing luxuries that have not been earned.
MICHAEL DOUGLAS CARLIN
TRAFFIC IN WORLD PEACE
In America, the law is King. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”
– Thomas Paine
Mention the word “peace” in almost any crowd and watch the eyes start to roll. People don’t really believe that we can have peace on the planet.
The word peace is often equated with weakness. Weakness cannot lead to peace while oppressors exist. Peace will come when people approach one another from a position of strength and choose to work together instead of tearing each other apart.
I actually believe we can attain “world peace” in a generation or two. I not only believe it I am confident that we will move toward peace as the next reinvention of humanity.
Why am I so confident?
I ride a motorcycle through the streets of Los Angeles. The motorcycle makes me feel free. It liberates me from time to time when the pressures of life pull at me. In riding the streets I deal with danger every day. The danger I deal with is nothing compared to what it could be. It amazes me that people from all races, cultures, creeds, religions, and walks of life are able to descend upon Los Angeles and quickly pick up on our traffic system. Men and women from all over the world become cab drivers in Los Angeles. The traffic system in their own country may be dysfunctional but they learn to function and thrive here. They learn to speak enough English and become extremely well versed in traffic laws and driving techniques.
Each day millions of cars and commuters drive throughout the streets of Los Angeles with a statistically insignificant number of accidents (Number of trips vs. number of accidents). How is this possible? In all of America we have traffic laws and a system of moving people and cars that is highly organized. Peace comes from organization not chaos. The peace filled world will mimic traffic in Los Angeles.
We have dashed white lines, solid white lines, dashed yellow lines, solid yellow lines and solid double yellow lines. The American driver knows what each line means and consciously makes choices to keep traffic flowing. The solid double yellow line painted on the two lane highway keeps cars flowing in opposite directions from colliding. Isn’t that a mind blowing concept that a line painted on the road can keep people with opposing agendas from killing each other? A mere line? I am fascinated by all of the traffic laws and system of traffic lights, road signs, roads, streets, highways, freeways, and toll-ways that keep America moving. What lies at the foundation of this system and the other systems that create peaceful co-existence in America is the “Rule of Law”.
Thomas Paine, in “Common Sense” stated that “In America, the law is King. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.” The streets of Los Angeles confirm
Peace is attainable by drafting lines throughout all aspects of society. Many of the lines have already been drawn and many have yet to be drawn. Can you see why I believe that peace can exist? Those of you that rolled your eyes might want to take a second look at the building blocks of peace. Those of you that are becoming believers I would invite to participate in the discussion that will ultimately lead to “WORLD PEACE”. Who are the shapers of this peace? I believe that everyone has a voice and a vote but I believe that lawyers will be at the forefront of the discussion. Lawyers are at every bottleneck associated with the “rule of law”. Lawyers – negotiate, judge, advocate, legislate and litigate. Lawyers are drawing the white lines and yellow lines that will build the balanced road of peace and freedom that will coexist. The law is at the center of all order. The rule of law backed with empowerment and enforcement (the scales of justice) create a civil society. All of this allows disputes to be solved through logic and reason. The absence of logic and reason to solve disputes means that people resort to personal attacks and violence. Each time violence rises to the level of genocide an entire generation is lost to dysfunction and denigration of community. Community works when all elements work in harmony. Schools, faith based organizations, police, fire, parks, courts, jails, shops, restaurants, and a myriad of other elements make up the peaceful community.
If you want to torpedo the peace process simply create a class of people that is above the law and wait for the backlash. In our peace filled world no person will be above the law but each will have the rights and responsibilities applied equally. This will keep people solving problems through logic and reason instead of resorting to personal attacks and violence.
Logic and reason only prevail when people have what they need. We all remember sitting in our first economics class where we were taught that the first principal of economics is scarcity. We are sold this enormous lie and we become agents giving this lie power. If we all agree that resources are scarce we agree to overpay for them. Scarcity creates imbalance, which leads to unmet needs, jealousy, crime and dysfunction. The first true law of economics is that NECESSARY resources are abundant. 2/3rds of the world is covered with water and the sun provides us with all of the energy that we need to survive and thrive. Technology frees us from the shackles of scarcity. Abundance keeps people happy and working together – peacefully.
“Where the law is subject to some other authority and has none of its own, the collapse of the state, in my view, is not far off; but if law is the master of the government and the government is its slave, then the situation is full of promise and men enjoy all the blessings that the gods shower on a state.”
NUTS AND BOLTS OF PEACE
We all sing about World Peace every single year during the Holiday Season. But how can we actually have World Peace?
So who am I to talk about the important topic of “World Peace?” I am just a regular guy that has experienced heartache and joy. I am a semi-educated middle-aged man that grew up in the middle of Hollywood as the son of a working movie crewmember that lived the America Dream right before my impressionable eyes. I am the proud father of two sons that chose lives in the military because they wanted to serve their country. I am a human that has more failings than attributes. More than anything I am a man that has been asking tough questions for years and have always been digging for deeper truths. And one more thing about me… I sit at an interesting crossroads that happen to be the intersection for many of my beliefs about ushering in the era of World Peace. I publish and edit the Century City News and Steps For Recovery newspapers, I sit on the Arts and Cultural Affairs Council of the Century City Chamber of Commerce, I sit on the board of the Lorraine Jackson Foundation, I sit on the board and am the Chairman of Steps For Recovery, I am a longtime volunteer of Knightsbridge International, I am a Knight of Malta in a self styled priory, and I am a seven year Rotarian. I am a man that has spent many holiday seasons singing the traditional songs of peace.
We have so many songs being sung of Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. When we think about our roles in actually bringing about peace we get that glazed over look about us because nobody taught us how to usher in the era of peace. Every year we think about peace for a few months around the Holidays but most of us are all working on peace every day throughout the year.
I have seen peace and it looks a lot like Century City. The Holiday party in Century City is a collaboration of the Chamber, Rotary and the Bar Association. These three organizations are the nuts and bolts of how peace will be achieved in our world.
The Chamber advocates business and facilitates relationship building within the community to keep the engine of business flowing and functioning. Business is the engine that funds everything. Profits drive the flow of goods and services to fulfill needs and wants. Without the engine of business we have scarcity that leads to conflict. Abundance, brought about by healthy business is one of the keys to world peace.
The Bar is an association of lawyers. In America there is no king because here the law is king. Law and lawyers are the warriors that will forge a new world by legislating, litigating, advocating, judging, and innovating in ways that we cannot fathom to bring about and usher in the era of World Peace. Lawyers are at every single intersection of bringing about this peace. The people are at every single intersection as they push every law to its limit to test and purify the law boiling it down to the simplest forms.
Rotary, Steps For Recovery, Knightsbridge International and the Lorraine Jackson Foundation are all charities and philanthropy is for those left behind by the law and business and for those that fall on hard times. The goal of Philanthropy is to pick up the pieces and give a new start for people that get left behind. Philanthropy is also at the intersection of creating World Peace.
These great sectors of life in America are what will lead us to World Peace. I ride a motorcycle on the streets of Los Angeles and I believe from my experiences driving through traffic that we can and will usher in the era of World Peace. The lines that are drawn keep traffic moving with an insignificant number of mishaps. Traffic and the laws that govern it in Los Angeles have led me to believe in World Peace. Once the laws are drafted in every segment of society that keep things moving, promote the engine of business, and allow philanthropy to address unmet needs we will usher in the era of World Peace. So when you sing those songs about Peace on Earth and good will toward men, please think about the nuts and bolts of peace and do your part to embrace and usher it in.
The vision all comes together when the Beverly Hills High School Madrigal Singers begin singing in German, Spanish and Korean all at the same time. Three languages simultaneously sung in perfect harmony. Silent Night never sounded so good. Peace may be only a few generations away.
MY TRIP TO NICARAGUA IN 1996
Nicaragua was a war zone during the cold war. We backed the Contras and the Soviets backed the Sandinistas. We all used the people as puppets and when it was over we simply abandoned them: with all of their infrastructure in ruins.
I have heard how stories grow over time. Since 1996 I have been sitting in many meetings, meals, and cocktail parties with Ed where the stories of Nicaragua were told. I can honestly say that the story is exactly as it happened. That brings me to believe that the rest of the stories that Ed tells about his experiences are also as they happened with slight discretionary adjustments to protect innocent people.
During the Cold War the Soviets backed the Sandinistas and the United States backed the Contras. The Nicaraguan Civil War devastated the infrastructure of the country. When the Cold War ended we all left the Nicaraguans to rebuild their country on their own with whatever resources they could muster. Ed and Jim planned a trip to Bluefields to help bring equipment, supplies and medicine to the Hospital. The intention was to also go up-river and see what aid they could bring to a few of the villages. Ed called me and asked me to join him on this trip.
When I arrived in Houston to meet up with the team (Sir Edward, Sir Jim, Jason, Mike and David) before the flight to Managua I was briefed. “We don’t talk about politics on this trip and we don’t talk about religion.” We are all very serious about these rules. By respecting other’s beliefs we keep ourselves out of danger in what are often the most dangerous places in the World. At the time Nicaragua was quite dangerous as I would find out. I did not need to find out how serious Ed and Jim were about keeping our conversations to topics that did not include politics or religion. They made it clear that if we violated either of these rules that the mission was over for the offender.
We landed in Managua with an enormous amount of humanitarian aid. It must have been a hundred boxes of stuff that would have had significantly less value in the United States and much of what we brought would have ended up in the land fill. I remember Ed standing at the front of the line with his red passport and declaring that this was all humanitarian aid and that we were to be extended diplomatic status. The customs agents had seemed eager to get some type of bribe from us up to that point but with Ed in the front and Jim in the back and a few of us “Pack Mules” in the middle they whisked us through the customs station with no problems.
We over-nighted at a nice hotel in Managua and boarded a caravan of automobiles with our precious cargo and headed for Rama. We were told at the hotel not to tarry in Rama as it was a dangerous cross roads and bad things could happen to us there if we spent too much time there.
The minister of health sent up a boat from Bluefields to meet us and when we loaded our cargo it became obvious that four of us must remain behind. Ed, Jim, Jason and I elected to remain in Rama and to arrange for alternate travel down to Bluefields. We found what seemed to be the only café and planted ourselves there for the 10 hour layover. A family of 9 was also eating in the café. There was an older well dressed man that kept having a dispatch bring him what seemed to be news. The dispatcher would run in whisper in his ear a message would be whispered back and the dispatcher would leave. It seemed odd to me at the time but we were busy drinking beer and looking at the frail chickens that were running around the floor of the café.
We ordered chicken and fried potatoes. After the order it also seemed strange that I no longer saw the chickens milling about. A while later they were served to us. A great way to keep meat fresh in the third world is to keep in on the hoof. The little girl at the other table wandered over and also wondered where the chickens had gone and that broke the ice with the family. Ed communicated in Spanish that none of the rest of us spoke at the time. After a few sentences we were drinking with the Godfather of the town and he looked to the ship captain, Julian, and guaranteed us safe passage down to Bluefields.
Julian’s boat looked like the African Queen. It took hours to load the beans that were being hauled down to Bluefields. We were added cargo that made the trip a little bit more profitable. We loaded a couple of cases of beer onto the boat and spent the five hours drinking beer and telling stories – some of which are the lore of Knights. It poured down rain on us that night but we were having too much fun to care. Nicaragua has very little safe bottled water to drink so that leaves Pepsi or beer to keep hydrated. We chose beer.
When we arrived in Bluefields it looked like a ship graveyard with many sunken boats and ships in the harbor. This was the harbor that the Contra’s had mined during the Cold War. We arrived at the dock and began unloading our baggage. Jim was the first one off of the ship. When he plunked down on the dock it made a tremendous sound that alerted a massive guard with a sawed off shotgun. He stood up and shouted , “who you be?” Without missing a beat Jim shouted back, “We be Knights.” The reply came, “That be good.”
We don’t claim to be saints so from that story the motto has become, “we be Knights not Saints.”
THE STONE CUT WITHOUT HANDS
When humanity has had enough conflict, we will embrace our brothers and sisters and help them to have a “good life.” We will help them to become educated and to have a place at the dinner table. We will help them to have “Community” because “Community Matters.”
Capitalism has brought with it the most affluent society. Every comfort and luxury that has ever been dreamed of now exists. Today’s wealthy have lives of opulence beyond comparison in the entire history of humankind. Technology marches on at unprecedented levels exploring the limits of the Universe and unraveling the mysteries of life itself.
Capitalism is a system of every member of society working in their own self interest to bring about the most efficient allocation of scarce resources. This system leaves many behind…the system has side effects that, if left unchecked, will slowly kill the planet…the system has created weapons that could destroy the world with the push of a few buttons.
Capitalism has brought a standard of living that was unimaginable. 60,000 songs on our ipod that we carry around with us, a cellular telephone that can keep us in touch with people all over the world, automobiles that have every convenience are just a few of the examples of materialism. But none of this has given us a sense of meaning in our lives. We are so connected and yet so disconnected.
Life is not defined by the number of breaths a man takes but rather the number of moments that take your breath away.
We sit at the dinner table with the ability to feed every person alive and yet we are far from doing it. Those left behind just need a hand up. They need someone to believe in them.
I worked for a man who had as his motto “Community Matters.” Well community does matter. Community is about inclusion and involvement of community members. Communities are businesses, residents, roads, public services, courts, police, firefighters, hospitals, schools, churches and a myriad of other things we take for granted, in this country. When we have healthy functional communities we have prosperity and peace.
World Peace is such a broad concept. It sounds so complicated. So many songs about it: from the Cat Stevens “Peace Train” to John Lennon’s “Imagine” and thousands in between.
And yet so many parties are feuding. PEACE…is the stone that is cut without hands and it rolls forth and consumes the entire world. It is the stone that consumes the materialism of the world by consuming the clay, the iron, the gold and the silver – the materialism. It happens one or two people at a time. It happens one community at a time. A collaboration of many diverse Americans who work together to solve a problem in a remote community are waging peace. Sir Edward has the message that ordinary people can do their part to bring about peaceful conclusions.
Rotary of Century City is working with Engineers Without Borders and Sir Edward to bring clean water to a village in Honduras and are therefore, waging peace. Through a multitude of independent but connected events will come lasting Peace.
When humanity has had enough conflict, we will embrace our brothers and sisters and help them to have a “good life.” We will help them to become educated and to have a place at the dinner table. We will help them to have “Community” because “Community Matters.”
It has already begun and it can’t be stopped. It will grow and spread until more embrace the concept and it evolves and gains momentum. When everyone embraces this concept we will have a period of World Peace. A period where swords are beat into ploughshares.
At this moment, Humanity hangs in the balance. We have within our power to destroy ourselves or to live in peace and I believe that Humanity will choose peace. I believe that Humanity will choose to help to give community to others that have been hit by natural disasters or wars. I believe that a greener and more efficient “Community” will be given to those in need.
Humanity will come to the realization that we need peace. Each of us will do his or her part to bring this about. It will come from reaching out to help our brothers and sisters…not because of the reward it will bring us…but because it is the right thing to do.
People in our own communities and around the world need our help. We can’t make excuses like “they don’t believe what I believe” or “their skin color is different than mine” or “their religious views are different” or “their culture is different” or “their politics are different.” We must do what we can, when we can, because we can. Don’t do it for the reward because there might not be a reward. There is only the elevation of humanity as a whole. It is the stone that is cut without hands – because it must come from the heart. Giving must be done in person…eye to eye, hand to hand and heart to heart.
Materialism has brought with it many possessions but very little happiness. America is growing tired of this emptiness and we will seek something more meaningful. It will come from the heart…but it will come. We will lead and others will follow.
Peace will consume the earth.
THIS LITTLE RED AMBULANCE
COULD CHANGE THE WORLD
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We can have peace in our lifetime if we all do our part. This must be a partnership of every individual, non-profit organization, corporation, and government - all working together to bring the basic needs to all of humanity. It is time for humanity to grow up. Our “Identity Crisis” is ridiculous. We run around like little spoiled brats sweeping our messes under the carpet rather than deal with them in a forthright manner. Turning a blind eye to problems like homelessness ends up costing more than facing the problem with housing, meals, and services that recycle lives and get them back on the road as productive members of society. The debate between Socialism and Capitalism continues because of the merits of both systems. We hear the entrepreneur say, “I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps and was never given a thing…why should we give them anything?” We also hear those that have been helped by social programs say, “I reached out to the government for help during a time of crisis in my life and now, I own my own business.” The engine of capitalism cannot be refuted. It is what has driven the global economy. The benefits of socialism cannot be refuted either. That is why the debate is so compelling. The overused phrase, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime” also has merits. We need to assume nothing during the education process that teaches men, women and children to “fish”. We need to understand that in today’s complicated world the process of teaching men women and children to fish is a process that may take time. Not everyone has the ability to fish while learning. The reason why we should help people that can’t pull themselves up by their own bootstraps is that it is the right thing to do. Helping people while they learn is more humane and costs less than sweeping them under the carpet. Let’s put the debate of Capitalism and Socialism to rest. Turning a blind eye to people who have no ability to “fish” is no longer acceptable. A layer of socialism where we teach men, women and children to “fish” fueled by Capitalism for those who take personal responsibility and want all that capitalism provides can coexist and flourish. Let’s move the debate forward to renewable systems that prepare and plan for the next thousand years. This is the Prescription For Peace: 1. Food 2. Shelter 3. Health Care 4. Personal Safety 5. Education 6. Livelihood 7. Empower Women All leading to HOPE Thomas Jefferson wrote the words: “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” If we have the right to life then we have the right to three square meals a day, a roof over our head, access to quality health care, personal security, an education and a job. For how could we ever begin to experience liberty or pursue happiness without the basic needs being met. “Our work will not be done until every man, woman, and child alive has three square meals a day, a roof over their head, access to quality health care, personal security, an education and a job.” - Michael Douglas Carlin