I smiled at that and answered Steve, as Helen would have: "What have the challenges to get there, got to do with anything? Do they change the principle involved?"
"Doesn't it feel great to be able to acknowledge this as the truth about ourselves?" said Ushi. "We are the grains of the sand of the seashore as we are at one with it. We are also the drops of water and the ocean at the same time. We are Life, and Truth, and Love all rolled into one. Should not the universe 'obey' us? It gave us the power to enrich it with our boundless creativity? I think the universe will respond to us in our role for as long as we respond to its principles and stop being so timid about applying them to the little challenges the fondi have put before us, or we ourselves."
"This mandate has huge implications, but I see us winning," I added. "We will win, and as we do, I predict that we won't see it as a victory but as simply the human thing to do, like breathing the air."
Steve's response was to laugh. He turned to Fred. "The whole of humanity has to start to learn how to walk anew by the time Pete is done with it," he said.
Steve continued to laugh and then asked Fred where he kept the champagne hidden. "We have to celebrate this," he said. "With Pete we will win what the mightiest arsenals of weapons could never achieve. Just think of the expense he could have spared us!"
"There is orange juice in the fridge," Fred interrupted Steve, and began to laugh, too. Fred got up and brought the whole jug from the kitchen and a bottle of soda water for Steve, and a few slices of lemon.
We celebrated our future that night, deep into the morning. As we did, my meeting Ushi at the Brandenburg Gate came to my mind when Ushi and I had said fare well to each other at the conclusion of the Anderson affair. I had been sure that we would never see each other again. I could still remember her loving embrace and her kiss, and her words that we would not be dependent on one-another. Now, in our new celebration of an endless future we said the same things again, only in a different and much more beautiful context. Maybe this illustrates the principle that we all had talked about that night, which assured that our horizons were bound to grow brighter as we moved ahead.
I remembered Ushi saying at the Brandenburg Gate, that the world is full of beautiful people and wonders of love, and indeed, a lot of that truth had already been experienced.
Before boarding the plane the next morning, Ushi cautioned me that this truth promises a whole lot more, "maybe more than we both can handle," she said.
She grinned as she said this, and added a kiss. She also said that this truth promises worlds upon worlds of wonders that lie still before us. She said the world is full of marvels for us to explore, and to become uplifted by. She suggested that if we continue in our path to grow the dimensions of our self-love, and of all the love that is bound to grow out of our efforts, we would give new meaning to the concept of enriching one-another's life. She was telling me that we don't need a thousand years of growing up to become human beings, even to the point that we can put the nuclear weapons challenge behind us. She suggested that for this, we have the key already within us, and that we can turn this key now.
She kissed me one last time and repeated with a smile the very words that I had spoken to her in Leipzig on the first day we met, that one person with a right idea is sufficient to change the world. She said that she had agreed with me then. Now she added that in considering of how our circle had expanded we were already an effective majority in the world.
"Isn't that exciting?" she asked, while we hugged each other when the final boarding call for their plane was announced.
When Steve and I hugged each other he was all smiles. I even noticed a tear in his eye, which wasn't like Steve at all. Then he revealed the secret. He held up an envelope and said, "thanks for the fare well gift," as we shook hands.
As he said this I noticed that wicked grin in Fred's face that revealed that he had been up to something.
"What was the envelope all about?" I asked him after Ushi and Steve had disappeared behind the security gate and we were walking back to the car.
Fred took me aside and motioned Ross, Tony, Heather, and Sylvia to go on ahead. "Didn't you ask me to do something nice for them?" Fred replied when we were out of hearing range. He grinned some more. "The envelope?" he said. "Well, I gave him a little cash from both of us. I told him it was his National Security Award. I told him to consider it as a pioneering attempt by the Government of the United States of America to revert its attention back to Love-Based Economics, although in a small way, - a small first step towards saving the world. I told Steve that you had nominated him for the award, which in a way you had." Then Fred laughed when he said this and looked at his watch. "I asked Steve not to open the envelope until he was in the air. I hate emotional scenes."
"He certainly can use some extra bit of cash," I assured him.
"It may save his life some day when he needs to get away from the East in a hurry!" said Fred calmly. "I couldn't give him the Nobel Price, of course. Still, I am not totally impotent. I only wish it could have been more. Two-hundred-thousand is such a pittance."
"Wow! You call that a pittance? I should kiss you for that!" I said to him and reached my hand out. "Thanks Fred."
"Believe me, it's a pittance," said Fred. "Our country spends twenty-four billion each year on covert operations to destabilize foreign governments, to foment wars and genocide, to assassinate people we don't like, to set up and finance terrorist organizations against other countries, even to terrorize our own people, while not a penny is spend in Love-Based Economics on which peace and civilization depend, including our prosperity and security. Not a penny is spent on that. Do you want me to go on? Do you know how much twenty-four billion adds up to, which we spend each year to tear the world apart? That adds up to a hundred-and-twenty-thousand times the amount I gave to Steve and Ursula. So it was a pittance, wasn't it. They have stuck their neck out for us to save our butt a little while longer. They deserve far more. Unfortunately, that's all our country is able to award this year to protect life and civilization on this planet. In real terms, this allotment is less than a pittance, Pete. But then, that's what we consider life to be worth these days. I just hope Steve and Ursula will be able to forgive us both for our inability to honor them better."
"You are right, the security and prosperity of our country should be worth a lot more to us than that. That's why we have so little of it," I replied. "However, I don't see any change on the horizon for as long as we spend a hundred-and-twenty-thousand times as much on destabilizing the world and making it less peaceful, than we spend on making it livable."
Fred didn't laugh this time. He said something about wanting to turn this ratio around, so that people's tax money would be spend on enriching civilization and the world, instead of destroying our humanity and murdering people. "We've got to put Love-Based Economics on the table in a big way," he said to me, "or else everything that we have worked for as a people, and as a nation, will be lost in the hurricane of the coming calamities that we see already on the horizon. He suggested however, that most likely the spending in support of peace and civilization would have to come from private sources first, before such a trend can be established in government spending. Love-Based Economics is a process that has to start at the home plate. Steve is a key element in this. Let's consider the money as a retainer to enable him to help us in reclaiming our humanity. Too much of it has become lost. There is almost nothing left of what America once was."
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