First line of defense

In his book The Right Stuff, writer Tom Wolfe explains how the first American astronauts developed the calm style that pilots use today to communicate with passengers and ground control. Back then, space travel was largely an experiment in the unknown, yet these astronauts never conveyed a sense of urgency or fear.

Their composure parallels that of countless heroes of the past—from quiet but fearless cowboys, to intrepid explorers and pioneers throughout history, to many courageous figures from the Bible. Heroes, we understand, quell fear to overcome the challenges before them.

While most of us don't consider ourselves heroes, we are all searching for ways we can help restore peace to the world. I think the first and most effective influence we can bring to any circumstance is calm. As we live it individually, calm will become the foundation for peace throughout the world.

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Three points on staying alert
November 12, 2001

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