The True American. Part 2: The Great Negotiations
Great Negotiations are conducted among the leaders of the Old World led by the United States of Africa and the American chiefs. The fate of the world is on the line. The main problem is that the sides are on different levels of spiritual development and awareness, which complicates mutual understanding.
Our world would become a lot better if it absorbed at least some of Native American culture and philosophy.
Next March, Peter went to America with a delegation from the United States of Africa and the European Union. When still enrolled in the prep course, he has met and made friends with Bob Smith, the tall guy who was also interviewed at the Ministry. They were temporarily accommodated in a hotel in the capital of America, Manhattan.
Peter: No, not like that, Bob! You need to stretch the “o” here, you know? It's crucial.
Bob: Yeah. I thought I was good at speaking American. But it turns out I don't know a bloody thing! Or are you just being a drag, Peter, huh?
Peter: You don't speak American that badly for your position. But if you want to surprise Americans and gain their trust, you need to know a little more. Eagle Cloud once said that...
Bob: Peter, you really like talking about them, don’t you? Now I understand why you're on our team. I think you know more about Americans than they know about themselves.
Bob: Admit it, you like Americans. Isn't that right?
Peter: I'd just been studying their culture and language for too long.
Bob: And you like them nonetheless!
Peter: You may be right. There's nothing wrong with that. Their culture is unique...
Bob: (Bob chuckled) Like many other cultures on the planet.
Peter: Yeah, but... but only their culture managed to make friends with nature and preserve it. Their civilization, unlike ours, is flourishing. Look out the window, Bob. (Peter got up from the couch and came to a huge window). The old world is bogged down in wars for power and resources. Our cities are filled with garbage left over from insane consumption. We haven't had normal drinking water for a long time. As Mr. Campbell said, we're screwed...
Bob: If they shared their technology with us, we would have been fine, too. We wouldn't have to cut down forests and pollute the air to survive, either. The worst thing is that it's not even their technology, but ours.
Peter: Are you serious? It's Nikola Tesla's technology. And he did the right thing - he only shared it with the Americans. He was right to say that only in their hands it won't threaten the entire humanity and the planet. Tesla didn't want fools using his inventions to make weapons to kill each other and fight for power. Nuclear weapons are a perfect example of how we can use technology to kill and intimidate.
Bob: To me, all these are all made-up tales that the Americans themselves thought up in order not to share their technology with the rest of the world. They are screaming louder than anyone on the planet about the environmental catastrophe, about the inadmissibility of wars, about human rights and freedoms. But they don't want to put an end to all this. Although they can do it at any time. Don't you think that's crazy?
Peter: You say that as if they were to blame for the overpopulation of the planet and human greed. Native Americans deeply appreciate freedom. So they try not to interfere in other people's affairs.
Bob: Even if they see that most of the planet is on the verge of annihilation?
Peter: They believe that it's our choice, and whatever it is, it needs to be respected.
Bob: What if they're asked for help?
Peter: That's why we came here.
Bob: We came here not to ask for help, but to foster cooperation with Americans.
Peter: Cooperation? That's very optimistic. (A pause hung in the air). Okay, Bob, let's go for a walk since we've got a bit of free time. Just look at this wonderful weather!
Over the following week, Peter and Bob had no free time to speak of. Preparations for the Great Negotiations were in full swing, and the young men barely managed to get a good night's sleep. On the day of negotiations they had no time to sleep at all and spent the entire night at the embassy.
The Great Negotiations were the largest-scale meeting in 50 years between the leaders of the United States and the European Union and the chieftains of America. As usual, journalists only managed to cover the official, public part of the negotiations. That was where the leaders of the countries exchanged courtesies, spoke smoothly and delivered prepared speeches about eternal friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and the development of trade relations. But, of course, the most interesting things happened behind closed doors. Journalists were not allowed in, unlike Peter, who was lucky enough to attend the private part of the talks.
Negotiations took place in a room that resembled an enormous wigwam. All participants were seated in a circle.
Presidents, ministers and chiefs were in the front row, and their assistants and advisers sat behind their backs . The atmosphere was relaxed and informal. When everyone was seated, one of the chiefs, by the name of Good Heart, spoke up.
Good Heart: Once again, I am greeting our dear guests on American soil, I hope you are neither hungry, nor thirsty, and comfortable in your chairs.
Good Heart paused so that the interpreters could translate his words. He examined all those present with an austere look and continued.
Good Heart: With your permission, I will chair our meeting. I ask everyone to express their thoughts openly and sincerely. That way we'll get to know each other quicker and better. I ask everyone to speak if they so desire. I'm finished.
U.S. President McQueen took the floor.
President McQueen: I will omit all the welcome epithets, as there were plenty at the open meeting, so let's get to the point, gentlemen. As you know, an economic and political crisis is brewing – or, to be more precise, is raging - in the Old World, namely, in Eurasia and Africa. I believe the reasons for this crisis are clear and known to all.
President McQueen: Primarily, it's the overpopulation of the Old World, depletion of natural resources and environmental pollution. As a result, instability, upsurge of military conflicts, impoverishment of the population and other acute social problems ensue.
The president stopped and looked at the chieftains. They were listening to him very closely.
President McQueen: If radical measures are not taken to solve these problems soon, according to our experts, in 10-20 years we will entirely lose control over the situation in the Old World. Chaos will ensue, accompanied by large-scale military action that entails the use of weapons of mass destruction throughout the planet.
The president paused again. The chiefs started whispering among themselves.
President McQueen: I and my European colleagues, as well as our allies' representatives, are convinced that this it is not merely a problem of the Old World, but America as well. That's why we need to solve this problem together, the whole world as one.
The President of the United States looked over at his European colleagues, who nodded their heads in consent.
President McQueen: Joint efforts of our experts have led to the development of a 10-year program that aims to overcome the crisis situation. This program entails the active participation of America, since we have to acknowledge the fact that without your participation (he looked at the chiefs) we won't be able to implement this program on our own.
The leaders started stirring and whispering again. When they finished, one of the chiefs asked a question:
Chief: Honored friend, could you tell us about your program in more detail?
The President exchanged looks with his assistants and colleagues from Europe.
President McQueen: The program implies the expansion of cooperation between the United States and Europe on the one hand and America on the other hand in economic, environmental and military spheres (he paused for a few seconds, pondering what to say next). But I want to be honest with you, honored chiefs. So I'd like to say it openly - in order to emerge from the crisis we need the resources and the new technologies that America possesses.
President McQueen: First of all, we need energy technologies, as well as oil, gas, certain mineral resources, drinking water and increased grain supplies.
Good Heart raised his hand, signaling his desire to speak.
Good Heart: How do you intend to dispose of these resources and technologies?
President McQueen: Basically, they will go towards the stabilization of the economy. Resource prices will drop, the economy will recover. And new technologies will allow to use these resources as efficiently and carefully as possible. Afterwards, we will be able to allocate the funds needed to combat the overpopulation of the planet and solve environmental problems. We intend to allocate the lion's share of resources to the development of new technologies that will allow to avoid similar crises in the future. The program describes all this in detail (he leaned to the side). I will ask my assistants to hand over our program texts to the distinguished leaders.
The assistants handed the chiefs rather thick and voluminous folders with printed programs. The chiefs and their assistants began to examine the document given to them and talk to each other at the same time. Finally they quieted down and Good Heart spoke again.
Good Heart: For many decades, we have been watching our brothers on the planet very closely. Not just because we share our home called Earth. But also because we care about the fate of their civilization. We sincerely wish them to live well and prosper. We enjoy the benefits they have created for the inhabitants of our planet with gratitude.
Good Heart paused, then continued.
Good Heart: We have long warned our brothers of the challenges ahead, but they did not attach much importance to them. We tried to help in any way we could, but it is very difficult to clean up someone else's house.
At that point envoys of the Old World began to whisper.
Good Heart: We see that the causes of the crisis faced by our overseas brothers lie neither in the depths of the sea nor in the thick of Mother Earth. They are right here. (he put his hand on his chest) This is where we need to look for solutions to these problems. We looked at the contents of your program (he put his hand on the stack of papers in front of him), but found nothing about your hearts and your thoughts. Neither did we find anything related to the way you raise your children.
President McQueen exchanged looks with his colleagues and addressed Good Heart.
President McQueen: I'm sorry, honored Chief, but we don't understand you.
Good Heart: I mean, neither resources nor new technologies will solve your problem. Because the essence of the problem lies beyond the bounds of the material world.
A wave of uproar swept over the audience, but Good Heart continued undisturbed.
Good Heart: Our brothers must reconsider their attitude to life and the world around them. To learn to love life in all its manifestations, not just the material goods. To finally realize that everything in this universe is one and interconnected, and that every manifestation of it, whether it be stone, flower, a wild beast or man deserves equal respect and attention.
President McQueen: I'm sorry, distinguished chiefs, but I don't quite understand what philosophy and metaphysics have to do with solving a specific social and economic problem? (The President of the United States threw up his hands)
Good Heart: A lot of people from the Old World understand what I'm talking about right now. In recent years, the universe has been constantly sending you spiritual teachers to help. But you don't want to listen to them and take what they're saying seriously.
President McQueen: Do you want us to embrace your culture and philosophical views?
Good Heart: No, we want our brothers to develop their OWN. You have remained the unchanged in spiritual development as our ancestors remember you when you first stepped onto our land. You have achieved a lot in the sphere of material well-being. But you remained in the same spot in spiritual development. This lack of harmony is the real cause of all your troubles.
President McQueen: Dear chief, I must disagree with you. The Old World is the birthplace of all major world religions. And I'd like to remind you that one of the pillars of our civilization is the freedom of religion. We cannot force people to develop or not to develop their religious beliefs, nor can we force them to believe that everything in the universe is one.
Good Heart: Dear brother, religion has little to do with spiritual development, since it offers a single path for everyone. Spirituality is always an individual path, a path of personal choice. Spiritual development is not faith, it is knowledge – but the knowledge of the heart, not the head. You don't have to make anyone believe in anything. You just need to teach them how to hear their hearts.
All the chiefs nodded in consent, and the President of the United States sighed. He leaned over to his assistant and, covering his mouth with his palm, said,
President McQueen: Gary, these bloody Native Americans are pretending to be saints again. You can't deal with them point-blank. Moving on to Plan B.
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