This week marks three weeks since I released a personal reading of Students Under Siege on YouTube. Thank you for listening and sharing your support. It always humbles me and inspires me that you want to spend time in the community of my words. If you haven’t heard this reading you may listen to it on my YouTube channel or order the book online or from your favorite bookstore. As you listen, read, or discuss it there are a few things I would like for you to know.
This book is challenging! It is challenging us to face the reality behind these shocking events, how to understand the roots of what is happening in our society, and how to take a major step forward in caring for each other.
This book humbled me. I found myself humbled in my approach to this topic because I know the first step in being able to learn from and grow beyond our failures is to recognize them, accept them, and confront them. I also realize that unless we have the humility to carry out this encounter, we will discover that our failures will repeat themselves continually. But, I believe as well that facing our failures can awaken our hearts. We must accept our reality, and our own roles in forming our reality, in order to make the creative choices to change our future.
It’s not for everyone! If you want a simple explanation for these events and black and white answers you won’t like my work. My work is meant to help us turn aside from questions that seemingly have easy answers and seek the questions that will challenge us individually and collectively to grow no matter how difficult that growth may be.
I ask the questions that are haunting our society:
- Why do so many people insist they need to own military grade assault weapons to begin with?
- And why are they so terrified of losing them?
- Is it about the fear I don’t matter?
- Why do some of us end up being mass murderers?
- Can we afford not to care for each other?
- Why are we so afraid of facing real life?
Liberal or conservative? I am what I think of as the best of both. I want to preserve and renew the founding, enduring values in our culture. I also want to help and have compassion for those suffering, be determined to right the wrongs within our nation, and to think and act creatively while becoming free of the illusions of the past.
Understanding is the foundation of change. But, it doesn’t mean to permit. Failing to understand what’s happening in our society is the surest way to create more divisions and strife which will dehumanize every citizen even more. The primary task we face is to make the effort to understand the root of these tragic events.
I put everything I have into this book. As I was writing I used my experience in living for over eight decades—my life as a Jungian psychoanalyst, writer, and lecturer; my years of working in business; my time as a volunteer in inner-city poverty areas; my participation in our repressive, positive-thinking zeitgeist; and as a member of a cross-generational family ravaged by a warped health and mental health care system—to trace how over the decades we Americans have veered from our country’s highest values of democracy, liberty, equality, and opportunity for all toward indifference, blindness, and overbearing self-interest.
I hope you will consider reading or listening to this book as a group. More than any of my other books Students Under Siege is intended to be read, listened to, wrestled with, discussed, and creatively engaged in the context of community. Already I have heard of several Jungian groups and Adult Forums in churches that are focusing programs around the book or lecture. To help with these discussions I have included “Questions For Reflection And Discussion” in the book.
As always, thank you for your interest and support. I hope my efforts inspire you to renew your enthusiasm to help us all journey toward the healing and wholeness these events are challenging us to create.
Articles by Drs. Bud and Massimilla Harris, Book Excerpts and Resources
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