While writing “The Career Within You,” Ingrid Stabb and I invented a way of finding your career that resembles a tree-finder. The result of taking the “Wagele-Stabb Career Finder” myself was to find out that I’d do well as a journalist.
Most of my books have had a large journalistic component: interviewing people. But what fun it would be to go out on exciting assignments, too, were I to start a new working-life. I’d be an objective observer at happening events, the first at big fires, imbedded with armies, interviewing world leaders. Or maybe I’d be a photo-journalist or a cartoon-journalist.
If you go to my web site, http://www.wagele.com, you’ll see a blue book cover with the title, “How to Survive Death.” My friend and mentor Harry Gans and I wrote this light look at death. For part of it we interviewed people, mostly at the French Hotel Cafe in Berkeley, about what they expect to find when they die. You can read this little 26 page book on my web site free. I think you’ll enjoy Harry’s illustrations.
I have another journalistic project going on, too. This one is also about death but a more serious, longer book. I want to find out how the nine Enneagram types think about death and whether the intense experience of the death process intensifies how they express their type. I’ve been collecting some interesting stories about death by people of Enneagram types for a few years. I’m sure there are many other fascinating stories out there, but many are reluctant about sharing their experiences. If you have a story I’d like to hear it; the only requirement is that you know your own Enneagram type and the Enneagram type of the person it’s about. Send it to: email@example.com and put “Enneagram/Death” in the title bar. When I get enough, I’ll make them into a book.
This is Veteran’s Day week. Bill Moyers ran a part of the documentary, “The Good Soldier,” on a recent program. I recommend it. The most important issue for me when I supported Obama was that I hoped he would end the violence our country was engaged in.
|An astounding film, “The Good Soldier” directed by Lexy Lovell and Michael Uys should be mandatory viewing for every President and member of Congress who is willing to make the decision to send men and women into war. In a culture where many veterans do not speak back home of what they witnessed and participated in battle, this film portrays five combat veterans from different wars ranging from WWII to Vietnam to the Gulf War to Iraq who emotionally lay it on the line. The sheer humanity of such inhumane situations is astounding and riveting and heartbreaking. The courage it takes for these soldiers to speak of their darkest moments and moral dilemmas with such brutal honesty is to be commended and brings up questions of our government supporting those they would send to die who did not die but came home. “Life is more difficult than death,” one comments.“War puts you at odds with what is right and wrong,” one veteran explains. Their training as soldiers is to become killers without remorse, but as one asks, “How do you turn that off? One day you’re killing then the next you’re sitting at a bar in New York City.” In wars where the enemy looks just like the innocent civilian, “collateral damage” leaves its mark on the psyche of the soldiers which haunts them for the rest of their lives. As one veteran who is a founder of Veterans for Peace states, “War is not the way to settle a disagreement.”- HipHamptons.com Must See Films: Hamptons International Film Festival – Conflict and Resolution Section|
|“It’s hard to imagine watching a more affecting movie than The Good Soldier … it may be as affecting a movie as I’ve ever seen. It took one seemingly simple question—What makes a good soldier?—and reduced the answer to its essence. That being, the ability to kill other human beings. Using the voices of veterans from WWII, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Iraq, each gave this exact same answer, and they all spoke not only of their guilt and regret, but also of how at some point during their time in the military they needed to kill. Their reasons were different, but the training that gave them the skills and permission was not. I found it both hard to watch and hard to turn away from, and I know I’ll never look at the words ‘collateral damage’ in the same way again. Really powerful stuff.–…. All of them were visibly haunted by their pasts, and have found ways to come to grips with the tasks they were required to perform. In some cases by regularly protesting, and in the case of Will Williams, by founding the Madison Area Peace Coalition. These were all good men who were deeply affected by the fallout from their wars, and each has done whatever they can to make a difference. I cannot get the image out of my mind of Iraq veteran Jimmy Massey standing alone on a street corner in North Carolina in battle fatigues holding a sign that said: ‘I killed innocent civilians for our government,’ as someone pulled up next to him and yelled: ‘You shouldn’t be protesting our government wearing that uniform!’ “- Jason Albert, theOnion.com|
|“You’ve got a wonderful film here. I watched it tonight, totally absorbed. The testimonies of the five soldiers bring the issue of war to the viewer with great emotional power. It was a brilliant idea to hear veterans of the various wars – … because the net effect is to deal, not just with one odious war, but with the phenomenon of war as a universal evil. It is especially important, if we are to ditch forever the idea of ‘good’ wars, to tackle head on the war which is generally considered morally unassailable – World War II. Thanks so much for letting me see this. I hope it will get the attention it deserves.”- Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States|
|“The Good Soldier” This is one incendiary movie. When you turn somebody into a well-trained killer, how do you turn off the killer part of their personality? That’s the question asked by Lexy Lovell and Michael Uys in their clear-eyed, heartbreaking documentary. … “Good Soldier” is implicitly anti-war, but not didactically so. At heart, it’s a rueful acknowledgement that when you put young men in stressful, violent situations, they’re not always going to behave according to the Geneva Convention.- Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star|
|“The Good Soldier”… is a powerful documentary in which filmmakers Lexy Lovell and Michael Uys present a cadre of highly decorated soldiers who’d fought valiantly in America’s wars – … and, in doing so, came to the conclusion that warfare was neither a righteous nor effective way to resolve differences of opinion, ideology and/or national interests. As Chief Warrant Officer Perry Parks, who flew helicopter combat missions in Vietnam, says, “A young person who is considering a life in the military needs to know that it is not just the job, the education, the travel – the glorious parts they show you. Your real bare bones job is to go out and kill people. Every man is an infantryman. Every soldier’s priority is to conduct the war.”Taking it further, Captain Michael McPhearson, who grew up on Fort Bragg, changed his mind about the military after fighting in the Gulf War. “Soldiers serve the public; they serve our society. I am saying do with me what you will. I am giving you my mind and my body. When I go to war, my body can be broken, my mind can be broken, or I don’t come back. I give you permission to do this. I swear to uphold the Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights. It is a generally just document. When leaders break that, then I believe a soldier has the right to break their agreement.”McPhearson, resigned his commission and has become the Executive Director of Veterans for Peace. He now faces the anguish of having a son in the military. “I also believe that a soldier has a right to decide they don’t want to kill anybody anymore. They have a right to break that too, because I have to live with taking somebody’s life. You don’t,” he says in the film.|