Michelangelo once said “The Greater danger is not that our hopes are too high and
we fail to reach them, it’s that they are to low and we do”. Waging Peace at War’s
Hello and welcome to my inspirational journal / resume / battle plan. I have been
working with the idea of a PEACE ARMY since 1983 and have come up with this
book as a response. It is mostly a loose collection of Peace Army Poems and prose
to flesh out a possible series of events. Originally my dream included renewable
energy, community ownership (presently manifested as the stock market) and
demilitarization. I have, over the years, narrowed my focus to the mentally ill and
homeless because it is an area I know first hand, see revolutionary potential and has
universal impact. It was disappointing at first to not be involved in everything but I
have found that this one mission was work enough. Peace at home and on the street
are both great challenges. I have included some Peace and Justice content because
many of the mentally ill are that way in part or in whole because of the present state
of things in the world. I hope to give work credit for our patients to attempt and/or
make real changes in the world as therapy, mixed in with work a day activities.  It is
my ultimate dream that the board of the Peace Army will see fit to enable our
infrastructure to facilitate growth into other people and earth friendly industries. This
book is a general framework for action, open to creative input from team players.
My dream started out costing millions and has only shifted in its focus and not the
urgency and long range perspective. I believe in a God of abundance and for me to
dream in a manner not counting on that abundance is to show a lack of faith.  Many
people would like to make the world a better place so I have come up with a plan that
is practical yet idealistic. Practical in that people are in need and I think we can do a
better job at helping them while staying within a reasonable budget. Idealistic in that I
believe peace has a value to many people and I trust that if I put enough of a plan
down on paper it will all come together.
The foundation of my plans success is the PEACE ARMY TRAINING PROGRAM we
pay people to go through, as if they were joining the regular military and were paid to
go through military basic training.  Asking a person to undertake the transformation I
am proposing is a lot to ask but I don’t think it will be any more difficult than what
present day soldiers go through. Getting our soldiers to cry, think, laugh and
imagine will be our version of “finding out what you’re made of.” Taking skilled
people and adding the shared experience of life transformation will hopefully develop
a team spirit the mentally ill can plug into for a well rounded healing experience.
The “system” we have now has much merit so I am not out to totally recreate the
wheel but just to put rubber tires on it so to speak. I mention here in the book that
sincerely caring for people is not rocket science. However healing an organ as
complex as the mind, directing a person through an ever changing world may well be
more complex than rocket science. Factors affecting a person’s sense of wellbeing,
self-sufficiency and ability to give back to the world are varied, critical and inherently
within the human grasp. The Staff, having been through the training and its changes
will be more sensitive to patient's feelings, upbeat and communicative with each
other, and aware of how changes look and so better able to connect at where the
patients head is at. Many patients will have read this book, so we need to be real,
honest and on our game. My improvements to the mental health field will ultimately
impact the world, as we “all” have troubles or know someone with troubles.
Intentional communities are presently centered around shared religious, ecological
or political beliefs. I want to establish a therapeutic community network of caring
people centered around sensitivity to mental health issues. Work places that work
around a persons limitations, go with their strengths and provide a product or
service valuable to the larger community are key to a sustainable life for the feeble
or infirm. Recreational opportunities mixing our clients with the rest of society will
help to demystify the mentally ill and help the ill see that they are not so very
different from anyone else. We all have limitations and are susceptible to severe
mental illness so I believe my vision is realistic and necessary.
My politics are generally liberal but I believe that with the right mix of people we can
encourage all our patients to be true to their own path in life. I am profoundly
Christian yet welcome people of all religions to discover how their faith can bless
their lives. I am not a big sports fan but realize people need an outlet for recreation. I
myself have a history of mental health problems and want to set up an organization
able to take good care of me should I ever get to the point where I can no longer run
my own life. I want to get this Redpeacecross started and eventually hand the reigns
over to a Board of Directors I / We have trained. We are all blessed with a unique
perspective; valuable to the mix we call humanity.