Beware of DogmaIt’s probably beyond hypocritical for someone who abhors talking about himself to write a memoir. Readers of Blue Is Just A Word: The Civil War Within, say the hypocrisy moves closer to irony within the first few pages for which I’m forever grateful. I had no choice but to write, and sometimes, irony is all we have. My history teacher mother taught me early on that my anguish and joy weren’t unique but experienced by all in one form or another. Things I’ve done in order to gleam something meaningful from the suffering I’ve seen have given deep pause and concern to those who love me. Now, that same love and sympathy is reflected in the eyes of readers, with a sincerest “thank you” for sharing the story, which proves, we’re all in this together. Being one of those strange people that have never had an enemy—unless it’s myself, confessing all has brought nothing but goodwill. Blue is about our American family. The moral lessons are universal.

In my youth, I was convinced the dogmas and deadly superstitions the world has fought over forever would be long gone by now. Curiosity made me suspect that most of the suffering in the world was caused by ideas that enslave us and make us witnesses of suffering but not with the empathy to do something about it. Leading to the question: what “dogmas are no longer adequate?”

In a free society where no one is required to believe anything except to be good and obey the laws, there’s no guarantee brutality won’t occur. But, wherever aristocrats spread slavery of the mind, body and spirit to keep the ignorant in ignorance, brutality is assured. Discovering that, I wrote with the tools I know and love. History; because it gives proof, meditation; because it provides clarity and removes prejudice if you let it, and music; which, “if there is a just God?” as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln asked the question, is the truest language of God, which opens the door to talk about God if one needs to. Slavery stole my wife, brother and sanity. It almost stole my life! Blue attempts to get back some of what slavery took. It’s my response to President Kennedy’s challenge to “ask not . . .” It might be too, that I’m not ready to “perish from the earth” just yet.