Carl Jung once warned during the Cold War that: “Everywhere in the West [World] there are subversive minorities who, sheltered by our humanitarianism and our sense of justice, hold the incendiary torches ready, with nothing to stop the spread of their ideas except the critical reason of a single, fairly intelligent, mentally stable stratum of the population. One should not, however, overestimate the thickness of this stratum.” (C.G. Jung, “The Undiscovered Self,” 4).
If Carl Jung were still living, we may find him to be rather (appropriately) proud of a modest, rational banker who resides in Nigeria. On December 25th, 2009, the Free World was given a great gift that mirrors the one Jung sought to impart more than 50 years ago. While the media will mark the day as another attempted 9/11, they miss the mark. The most profound and courageous feature of this attempted attack has nothing to do with the terrorist himself, but with his father. A father, who, upon sensing his son was falling into the orbit of radical ideologies, took it upon himself to use this information to protect our global commons by letting authorities know they should be watching his son. Certainly we can all understand what a grueling and emotionally fracturing experience it must have been for this brave man. We would all do well to spend a few moments this New Year viewing the world from this man’s shoes.