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Most think their locus of worth is outside themselves. They are wrong.

It is within us. All possess the same inviolable, sacred worth:  Love.

But each of us needs to have our love nurtured by someone else's love.  

It's like a planted acorn. For it to grow into a mighty oak tree, it must too be loved:  it must receive care, water, sunlight.

Therefore, turn inward, not outward. When loved, you will become all you can be. You will become your real self.

There is no quota on doing the right thing.




Chapter 31

All people live downstream.

The greatest rage is when you scream so loud you cannot hear the scream.

Danger has anger in it, tragedy rage.

Anonymity vitiates worth.

First, do no harm.
Second, do no harm.
Third, do no harm.

Pills are now our pillows.

FORTUNE 500 vs. MISFORTUNE 7,000,000,000

Knowledge sees that all are different, wisdom that all are one.

You cannot hoard love.

We are ordained when the sun touches our brow.

Back in their hotel room, Bian sat down with Jon.

"You know, of course, Jon, that the poor and extremely poor of the world earn less than $2 a day. That's about one-in-four of all Citizens of Earth. Unconscionable!" Bian said.

"You know as well inequalities such as fewer rights and resources are primarily  based on caste, gender, ethnicity, and tribal affiliation. Decades of civil war across the globe have exacerbated these injustices.  Now violence on local levels has become
increasingly injurious. Hunger and malnutrition stunt the lives of billions, weakening their strength and energy while debilitating their immune systems making them all the more susceptible to illnesses that hinder or **** them.

"Moreover, without viable health-care systems--especially for mothers and children--illnesses like malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections can be fatal. Furthermore, pregnancy and childbirth can be death-dealing.

"Over two billion Citizens of Earth don't have access to clean water at home. Contaminated water leads, of course, to waterborne diseases. Poor water infrastructure abets this deleterious situation.

"The catastrophic climate crisis Earth is now enduring, say experts, will push more than 100 million people into poverty over the next decade."

Jon stood up and gave Bian a big hug and a sweet kiss.

Mr. Ly and his friends had many, many other friends, large groups of whom lived in every nation on Earth. All were anonymous and all were devoted to creating  PEACE ON EARTH THROUGH LOVE.

Concomitantly, these groups discreetly followed Bian and Jon into the country the two had just left and began helping the poor:  food, water, housing, health care, education--in any way they could.

Love is contagious.



Chapter 30

Humanity has had a hard time growing up, Jon thought as he stood looking out the hotel window.

"Jon...," said Mr. Ly.

"Yes, Mr. Ly," replied Jon.

"I have updates I'd like to share with Bian and you," said Mr. Ly.

"Of course," said Jon.

Bian and Jon had just finished visiting Eritrea, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Mali, Benin, and Togo. They were now having their monthly meeting--20 May in Casablanca--with Mr. Ly at the Club Al Alfa Hotel.

The three took a seat.

"I have extremely good news. First, let me talk about Earth's greatest existential threat: nuclear holocaust," said Mr. Ly. "My friends and I know the whereabouts of every hydrogen bomb on Earth. Many are known worldwide; others are kept secret. Further, we have developed a way to render everyone of them useless, whether launched or not. Our method cannot be detected. Earth will never be destroyed by hydrogen bombs.

"Further, we have developed a way to desalinate ocean water, thereby creating potable water, cheaply and limitlessly, for human consumption and agriculture. Nuclear power will need not be used to realize this goal."

All three sat silent. Bian and Jon, stunned, joined hands.

Finally, Jon said, "Mr. Ly, this is, of course, incredible news! It will be hard not to shout this to the world now and forever!"

"You are correct, Jon, but we will not make these discovers public until several months before the vote on CAMPAIGN FOR EARTH takes place.

"My friends are as smart as Bian and you. They are determined to save Earth. They use their power to empower others, not to oppress them. Now they will use their genius to right all other wrongs that afflict humankind. Their wisdom, their fortitude,, their bravery--all are love!"



Chapter 29

"Have I told you about Hechamiah Moore?" Jon asked Bian.

"No," said Bian.

The two had visited Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, and Somalia and now were lying in their bed in their room at the Legend Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria.

"It was in the Fall of my junior year at Columbia. I was heading to Tom's to have breakfast. As I walked toward 112th Street on Broadway, I saw a tall Black man holding a styrofoam cup hoping those who walked by him might drop a quarter or two into it.

"When I got to where the man was standing, I stopped in front of him. My stopping right in front of him surprised him, I'm sure. I stuck out my right arm hoping to shake his, and as I did, I said, 'My name is Jon Witherston. What's your name?' The man was incredulous. Finally, after a long, awkward pause, he said, 'Hechamiah.' I said, 'Hechamiah what.' There was another long pause. Finally, he said, 'Hechamiah Moore.' I then said, 'It's nice to meet you, Mr. Moore. I'm on my way to have breakfast at Tom's Restaurant. Would you like to join me and be my guest?' Mr. Moore was stunned. Another long pause. Finally, Mr. Moore said, 'OK.' So we began walking down Broadway toward Tom's Restaurant, and as we walked, we started chatting.

"I found out Mr. Moore was from North Carolina, had married his sweetheart when both were 16, then came to New Jersey where Hechamiah got a job in some kind of factory. But ten years prior to our meeting, his wife died unexpectedly. Hechamiah told me he just couldn't stand it, so he started drinking and couldn't stop. Eventually, he was fired, and for the past eight years had been homeless.

"At this point, we reached 112th Street and had to cross Broadway to enter Tom's Restaurant. We crossed half of Broadway in the middle of which was sort of an island on which there was a couple of benches. There, Hechamiah just stopped. I asked him, 'What's wrong, Mr. Moore?' Hechamiah, after another pause, said to me, 'I don't think they want me in there.' I paused this time, then I said, 'Mr. Moore, there are two reasons why you are going into Tom's with me:  First, you are my friend. The second is the United States Constitution.' Another pause. Hechamiah then stepped off the curb of the island and began to walk across the other half of Broadway. I followed him.

"We entered Tom's, first Hechamiah then I. I saw an empty booth in the rear of the restaurant. I walked ahead of Hechamiah to the booth, then we both took a seat. I could feel and see Hechamiah was extremely nervous. A lovely middle-aged waitress came over and handed each of us a menu. When she returned a few minutes later, she asked what would we like to order. I told her Mr. Moore was my guest. She looked at Hechamiah and asked him what he wanted to order. "Some coffee and a glass of orange juice," Hechamiah said. "That's all you want, Mr. Moore?" Jon said with surprise.  He nodded yes. Jon ordered his regular breakfast.

"The waitress brought our meals in a matter of minutes. Hechamiah having drunk his cup of coffee and drunk his glass of orange juice, I said, "Are you sure you don't want something else to eat, Mr Moore?" I could see and feel Mr. Moore was becoming increasingly at ease as we shared our food and conversation. He said, in fact, he would. When our waitress came by again, Hechamiah was so relaxed that he had started to joke with her. "I'd like what Mr. Witherston had," said Hechamiah. The waitress smiled, then said, "Great!"

'Hechamiah finished his meal in short order. It was time to leave Tom's. When we reached the entrance, Hechamiah tried to push the door open, but when he had the door just half open, he turned around and said to me, "Mr. Witherston, you are a kind man." I said to Hechamiah, "Mr. Moore, you are a good man." We both stepped onto the sidewalk and shook hands and began to walk in different directions into the same sunlight, but with our stomachs, and our hearts, much fuller than they had been."

Jon turned out the lamp next to the bed, then leaned over and gave Bian a kiss on the cheek.

"Good night, my love," Jon said, then laid his head upon his pillow and closed his eyes.



Chapter 28  


"I will never **** another human being, but I will die any time to save any other human life," said Jon to Bian.

Bian paused, then hugged her husband in silence for several minutes. "I will love you forever," said Bian as tears poured down her face.

They sat down together on the sofa. Neither had need to utter another word for a prolonged time.

Finally, Jon said, "We ought to have a Worldwide Picnic before the vote on CAMPAIGN FOR EARTH. Citizens of Earth from what are now nations would be chosen by lottery to attend. All expenses would be paid for. Facets of each ethnic culture would be shared through programs and other offerings. Living arrangements would be provided. Translators of all languages and dialects would facilitate communications."

"Jon, this is a great idea! I'm sure Father and his friends would feel the same."

Bian and Jon had now visited Angola, Tanzania, Uganda,
Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but it was now April and time to meet Mr. Ly in Algiers.

Bian explained to her father Jon's idea of having a Worldwide Picnic. Mr. Ly spent several hours asking questions about this most ambitious project. Bian and Jon's responses seemed to satisfy Mr. Ly's concerns, but again he would have to share all of what he had heard with his friends.

Mr. Ly would share their feelings about the Worldwide Picnic when the three met together in Casablanca in May.

Meanwhile, Bian and Jon would continue their travels through the rest of Africa.



Chapter 27

Airports, translators, dialects, families--poor, hungry, despairing--mothers and fathers--at least one child, maybe more--sometimes sharing laughter, sometimes sharing sorrows, foods of different flavors, but all in truth because of love.

Bian and Jon had traveled to Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil, then made their way to Africa, first to South Africa, then to Botswana, followed by Nambia, Zimbawe, and Zambia.

As they traveled from one country to another, they noticed the number of media in each succeeding nation was increasing. Le Monde, for example, was the first worldwide newspaper to cover their travels, reporting from Mexico. El Debate, the newspaper with the largest circulation in Mexico City, also sent a reporter. Beginning in Guatemala, the New York Times began continuous reporting, and in El Salvador was joined by the Washington Post, the Times of India, the BBC, and CNN. Moreover, the most popular national, regional, and local newspapers, TV, and radio stations of each country covered Bian and Jon's visits.

It should be underscored, however, that Bian and Jon would not be interviewed;  rather, such permission would have to be requested from, and granted by, each separate family.

It was time to meet Mr. Ly in Nairobi.
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