Happy New Year!
In 2010, we must choose cooperation over fear. In the past several years, we have been fed lots of fear, to the point that many people have isolated themselves and refuse to share information and responsibility with others. We have seen this in politics, health care debate, churches, even within our own families.
President Roosevelt said during World War II, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Fear can overwhelm us to the point of isolation and failure to act.
In any bureaucracy, there are turf battles where one department will not share information with another department because they do not want to give up their power and control. I saw this in the Pentagon, where I served in the Navy and again in private industry, where I worked for a national insurance company in San Francisco. I have experienced it with every organization I have become involved with throughout the years.
We can not allow fear to overcome us. This is especially true in the area of nuclear weapons. This will be most important in the upcoming international nuclear summit hosted by the United States in April 2010.
In a speech in Prague, President Obama said, "We know the path when we choose fear over hope. To denounce or shrug off a call for cooperation is an easy but also a cowardly thing to do. That's how wars begin. That's where human progress ends."
So I urge you in this new year to choose hope over fear, love over hatred and respect over prejudice. Have a Happy New Year!