Voice of Reason
Speaking to the Great and Good Spirit of Revolution of Mind
Critically acclaimed by some of the world's top humanitarian, academic, and counter-culture icons, McGill's Voice of Reason is an illuminating, yet distressing plea for safety and freedom in a world of uncertainty, violence, and liberty lost. Sometimes eloquently poetic, other times harshly incriminating and shocking, McGill delivers a lovely and inspirational, yet thought-provoking book about the balance of mind and heart.
Voice of Reason is a wake-up call for a world in deep crisis, a world which is becoming a global battlefield, and where our poor relationships are increasingly based on self-interest. Exploring the true nature of violence, the destruction of diversity by monocultures, and the cancerous growth of unchecked, predatory corporate capitalism, McGill paints a grim picture of today's materialistic consumer life. Speaking directly to the heart of revolution, from Zuccotti Park to Tehran, McGill believes we must revolt against the endless manipulation and oppression of modern life, and reject the traditions of violence, which have made each of us agents of violence ourselves.
McGill explores many solutions to our cultural, political, economic, and environmental miseries, such as achieving greater individual consciousness and compassion, empowering youth, and restoring the woman to her rightful place, as the strong, loving maternal leader of peace and reason. As McGill writes, "The battlefields of life were first meadows and gardens. We made them into battlefields, and by the same power, we must release the dark spell, so they are meadows and gardens once again."
“...The only hope of transforming the world from the 'tsunami of violence' is for each of us to Become the Change We Wish To See in the World. Bryant McGill shows us the way.”
— Dr. Arun M. Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
“A peaceful voice for change in a corrupt world.”
— Larry Flynt / Hustler Magazine
“McGill's Voice of Reason is a brave and compelling call for greater individual consciousness and compassion. It is a bright spotlight on the powerful systems and situations shaping our lives, and the struggle for safety and happiness we all desire. The gentle force of his message clearly seeks to tame cruelty and restore human dignity. The power to create heaven or hell is within each of us. Voice of Reason is an iconoclastic tome of contempt for unjust authoritarianism, with an inspirational silver-lining that gives it all wings.”
— Prof. Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D. / Stanford University & NYT Best-Selling Author
“McGill has written a humanist manifesto through the roseate glasses of agape Christianity, Vishnu Sahasranama and Theravada Buddhism. Critical theorists will be challenged by the proposed consonance between Plato, poststructuralism and Lao-Tzu. Purists be damned!”
— Constance Stadler, Ph.D. / Prof. New York University
“…conscious guidance to a positive way out of our global crisis ...beyond nationalism, beyond warmongering ...real power that comes from truth, awareness, love and compassion.”
— John Breeding, Ph.D. / Best Selling Author
“...a bell ringing to the sound of silent screaming: a wake-up call to a generation crying out for help.”
— Susaye Greene / Musician, "The Supremes"
“...has the capacity to effect the very fabric of society in both global and personal ways ... a revolutionary treatise ... Get it, Read it, Be it, Spread it!”
— David Newman / Musician
Reader Reviews: Amazon, Goodreads, etc.
Praise for Voice of Reason by The Geometer
Bryant McGill has penned an eloquent, thought-provoking book, a richly ennobling masterpiece of rare sensibilities. His brilliant insights into the human condition encourage each of us to examine our own values. It is at once an urgent and clarion call to our higher selves, a wake-up call from wilful blindness, to our innate inner wisdom to enact love and compassion. The message is clear: BE LOVE TO OTHERS. (December 7, 2013)
Worth reading by Kellymarie
Definitely gives you something to think about. Calming for the soul and mind. Definitely worth getting and reading. I enjoyed this book. (November 17, 2013 — Western MA)
A controversial Must Read by Jesenia Sanabia
"Voice Of Reason" is politically and religiously a worthwhile controversial read. A new view point on human life. Expressing the need for love, peace, and healthy habits. I respect Bryant for his boldness to speak his mind raw on such a controversial topic. A topic many avoid to discuss, even afraid to acknowledge its existence. At one point I even wanted to stop reading. Then I remembered an earlier point in the book (which I agreed with) where Bryant stated, everyone's point of view should be respected and heard. It is up to the reader to agree, disagree, or partially agree. Bryant Mcgill did not hold back and it is evident in his bold statements and writing skill. Bryant expresses a strong detailed point of view. His passion on the topic is undeniable.
I truly enjoyed the creative comparisons Bryant used. An example is the comparison of vampires and life. I strongly agree with a major point of the "Voice Of Reason." Love is the answer to all human obstacles. All should be done with the consideration of the greater good of all. (October 16, 2013)
What a gift by Katherine Venes
The cry for freedom and the reverence of sacred peace unfolds from these pages like rolling hills, like the convulutions of brain tissue, an order so intrinsic to life it cannot remain unrecognised. It is both radical, ancient and commonsense. What a beautiful valuable book. (October 2, 2013)
An Interesting Read by Barbara Ochoa "Petra Luna"
I was impressed. I thought it was going to be another "fight the system" book, but the way you explained everything really provoked a lot of interesting thought. My partner is from Rome Italy and he is thumbing though the book now. He says you are a "genius" and wants to meet you sometime when we are in Los Angeles. I also thought you made some very profound and brilliant statements. Well done. (May 10, 2013 — Los Angeles)
Jump off of the people assembly line & read this book! by Robin Cee
This book is a loving bucket of water splashed unto your face with the INTENT of waking up your mind and spirit! Bryant takes you on a well thought out and honest tour of YOU. He is quite the tour guide, 'pointing out all of the special qualities that you have to make a difference in the world also yourself, he points out all of your strengths that you've traded in for weakness, he steers you away from the huge human swallowing potholes on "This is how everyone else does it" Street and opts to take you on a scenic drive on "Revolution Road"! I love this book and can't wait to share it with others! (March 7, 2013)
The red pill or the blue pill by Natalia Corres
"Voice of Reason" is a focused journey of introspection, guided by the elegant writing of Bryant McGill. The book allows the reader to transcend the structure of running on "auto-pilot" in today's world, and instead open your eyes to the possibility that what you believe is flawed. It introduces the the possibility that you can make a change in your perception of your place in the world, that you can shoulder the responsibility of yourself in a way that will enable you to contribute positively to the present and the future in your own life. And then it goes on to show you how the ripples of that can affect the world at large. Much like Morpheus in "The Matrix", Bryant's writing offers us the red pill or the blue pill, the rest is up to you. (January 10, 2013 — Bakersfield, CA)
The true meaning of Life? by Free Spirit
Bryant McGill's book 'Voice of Reason' reflects my own views about life to a great extent. Put simply, I believe that we are all free spirits interconnected through time, space and consciousness, and that unconditional love is the most important guide to fully achieve our life's potential. I recommend reading Bryant's book to get practical ideas about how to achieve your true freedom of spirit. (January 10, 2013)
Reasonable Voice by Burton N. Danet "Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Not only is Bryant McGill's "Voice of Reason" a book for anyone interested in helping create a better world, but a careful read leads to the conclusion that this author offers a "reasonable voice" in the interest of instilling common sense back into our precious world.
In his book, author Bryant McGill tells us he is "Speaking to the Great and Good Spirit of Revolution of Mind."
What he could not have known is that, so often ABC4All Mentors have been articulating many examples of the concepts in his book. Through mutual discussions that have been stimulated by "Voice of Reason," we now know that, indeed, the book is a potential companion for any ABC4All Mentor in 119 countries to date or, for any leader in the world.
Thus "Voice of Reason" is recommended reading for anyone in the world interested in contributing, no matter how small or large that contribution may be, to the creation of a better world for all. It does not take McGill long to demonstrate the value of listening to the "Voice of Reason," and anyone in a leadership position anywhere is offered a text that has universal implications for any community or location on the planet. When YOU read this book, you can make up your own mind! (December 16, 2012 — Manhattan Beach, CA)
A Must Read For Common Sense Thinkers by Jim Miller
I will be the first to tell you I am not a voracious reader by any stretch. So when I take the time to not only read, but also review a book it touches my heart. Voice of Reason does just this. In it's simplest breakdown it details how we jave gotten away from the values of helping each other and became people wirhx self serving life philosophies. It is a word of warning and a guidebook to healing all in the same book. Bryant knows whereof he speaks. If you can only read one book this year please make it Voice of Reason. (September 26, 2012)
My thoughts about the Voice of Reason by John D. Young
Since I am almost 75 and have entered into those last few years in this world, I can truly say that Bryant McGill has called attention to the many institutions that most of us have ascribed to over our lifetimes. I have always considered myself to be one of the fortunate individuals and considered that life has been good for me. However, I had not thought how these institutions had affected humanity in general. Bryant is right, we all live by the standards that are expected for us in each community, whether it is government, religion, military or business & industry. The difficulty in each of those societies is how that society looks upon each individual within the specific community. If one is considered subordinate in some way, that community will deem those individuals not as worthy and will classify that person, or the same type of individuals, into a lesser category. As much as we do not want to admit it, the class society continues.
The history of humanity has been long and hard. There have been centuries of all forms of abuse, such as war, slavery and tyranny. Although those forms of life are terrible for each human being at the time, there have been periodic efforts by those seeking freedom and their cause eventually rewarded. No doubt, the "Civil Rights Movement" was one of those steps forward for humanity. But it will continue to take centuries for the world to be at peace.
Bryant outlines the festering sores in the world's communities. He has called attention to these issues with the hope that each of us will help make the changes through personal action and help to accomplish a better society in the years ahead.
This very thought provoking book, VOICE OF REASON, has capsulated what many philosophers & profits have related over the past centuries. Bryant McGill has a similar gift to understand the human being and relates how we might function in our complicated society. If we ascribe to his simple lessons, there could be peace throughout the World and peace within our hearts. (September 25, 2012)
Inspiring, Authentic, Brave and Beatiful! by Jen Pastiloff
This is what got me. "One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you have to agree with people and their beliefs to defend them from injustice. Listening is just. Listening is the way. Listening is the beginning."
Such a simple yet powerful idea that most of us aren't truly taught.
Bryant's writing is eloquent, at times poetic, at times blatant and hard-hitting. He is asking us to take responsibility and listen.
Sit down with this book ( or as I did on my iPad) and prepare to learn a thing to do. Prepare to have what you thought you knew challenged and a piece of you that may have felt broken suddenly whole again.
Bravo, Mr. McGill. Outstanding. I am listening. (September 17, 2012)
Nail on the head by Paul Becker
Bryant hits the nail on the head with "Voice of Reason". Incredibly thorough yet stunningly simple in itemized detail, I'm convinced that he's right - that true change for humanity must come from within ourselves. Our entire lives are controlled and dictated by others, and we are willing participants because we know no other way.
Bryant shows the way, that we must start listening to our inner voice, the Voice of Reason, and begin to remove greed, violence, corruption, money, & monoculturalism from our lives. We must LISTEN to others and our own inner voice, then become the example to others. Question Everything. Change Yourself.
Chapter after chapter, it is all laid out in beautifully-written language. This is a must-read! (September 8, 2012 — St. Louis, MO)
A transformational wake up call! by R. Guendoo
I find it amusing how things play out sometimes. There are few times that I am in a prolonged situation wherein I cannot entertain myself with external activities. Recently there was such a time where I was stricken with an intestinal bug. During this time I took the opportunity to read Voice of Reason by Bryan McGill and I'm very glad I did. Without delving into details all I can say is that his book is transforming, refreshing, provoking and a challenge to the masses of humanity yearning for a shift on stage of life. It challenges us to a revolution of the mind by being true to ourselves while appreciating the uniqueness of all individuals with respect. A challenge to refocus on personal relationships with individuals, supporting local communities and their stakeholders versus mindless investing the indifferent corporate giants. A challenge to cast of the zombie-like drone, sheeple mindset that we are groomed to be and instead, adopt a posture as a uniquely creative force on the tapestry of life. As he says, "Meeting another human is always a sacred event". If we can grasp and digest the beauty of that concept we can transform the societal paradigm from selfishness and violence to one of a harmonious appreciation of all people. If the book resonates with you as it did me, then you can know that the revolution is for you as well. I purchased the E-book and an additional physical copy to pass along. Highly recommended!!! (September 5, 2012)
Get it, Read it, Be it, Spread it! by David Newman
Bryant McGill's 'Voice of Reason' is an important, timely and groundbreaking work. In it Bryant speaks boldly of love though is not afraid to explore how as a society, culture and as individuals we have strayed from love as a way of life. Voice of Reason is a guide for all of us to change through understanding and a road map for the transformation of our planet through unity. Voice of Reason is a revolutionary treatise which needed to be written. It has the capacity to effect the very fabric of society in both global and personal ways. It comes from the heart and speaks to the heart. Get it, Read it, Be it, Spread it! (August 26, 2012)
Timely Prescription for Needed Social Change by Bill Hessell
A highly timely, deeply empassioned, beautifully written call for a reawakening and return to the human qualities that could rescue our society from the crises it currently faces. Avoiding the polarization that leads only to stalemate, the author takes us back to basic human principles we can all agree on, lays out how our society has come to violate these principles, leading to the current morass and mounting casualties, and suggests powerful ways our lives, individually and collectively, can return to a positive path. All age groups will find value in the book. It has special relevance for young people, who have most at stake in their need to change a society which all too often has come to be dysfunctional— a hindrance to their personal growth, success, and happiness. For adults dealing with current societal and personal realities, it will add much perspective in why their quality of life may be declining, and what remedial steps could be helpful. And for more senior citizens, like this reviewer, the book adds insight into how and why some of the values and life realities that were appreciated in the past are now a distant, much-missed memory. It is a book well worth reading — the life you enrich, the society you improve, just may be your own. (August 22, 2012)
Bryant may be the new modern day Emerson by Trent Jones
This is a good read. Bryant may be the new modern day Emerson. In a time where our politicians are talking about everything but what is good for the citizens and the environment … this is a time to pause … to look around and find a level ground of "reason." We hear the world screaming at us from all sides trying to lure us into radical ways of thinking and hating one another. What I got from this book was this: Deep within us all we know what is right and what is wrong. Deep within us all there is a voice of reason that in the end can lead us to prosperity and freedom for all. However, there are forces that want to move us away from reason … that want to force us into actions that benifit a few and enslave the rest. This author needs to be heard loud and clear over the screeming of the Limbaughs, Becks and Super Pac monies. The Voice of Reason… at some point in time we all just have to turn off the noise machines and look within for what is right and good. (August 21, 2012 — Ojai, CA)
Devotion by Jude
The best thing any of us can do is to have commitment to self development. It's resonance has an effect that reverberates, beyond ourselves……and touches others. (August 20, 2012)
THANK YOU BRYANT MCGILL!!!!! by Stephanie Sparkman
Thank you for putting these words of wisdom into my heart and mind. This is a must read for anyone and everyone!!!! It is time to change this thing we called humanity and this book speaks to that change we create for the collective self. Bryant's intelligent, soulful, and inspirational voice is the future of our change! His wisdom and insight has helped me to look at and live life in a different context. If you are looking to not only improve your life but actually change it, you need to read this book! (August 20, 2012 — Los Angeles)
This book is for YOU by Michael J. Eisbrener
This book is for YOU. NO! Not for anyone else, just you. Most of us according to Thoreau 'lead lives of quiet desperation.' We hide our despair with 'normal' behavior. The first 65% of this book, if you can take it in, will convict you. However, there is hope.
"The lesson to be learned here is to listen to yourself. Where do you get your messages from, your own inner-guide and voice of reason, or Madison Avenue? Is your original voice even yours, or was it branded into your soul through commercials between cartoons? Who are you, really?" — Bryant McGill
This is not a book to read for enjoyment. Sorry. If you are even a bit aware, you can see where we are headed and the bad news is no one but you will get YOU through.
"You cannot change another person's mind or educate them; this they must do themselves." — Bryant McGill
This book is for YOU. Start now while you can. (August 20, 2012 — Medellin, Colombia South America)
Outstanding by Charles Mott
The best reasoning of views and thoughts I have ever read or heard about in years…. I recommend this book to everyone. (August 20, 2012)
Love by Erica Hutcheson
I have been reading this gentleman's posts and e-mails for several years now. I love everything he's about! I'm very excited to read this book! (August 20, 2012)
A Must Read by Jamie Chandley
Once in a lifetime something comes along that changes the paradigm for a generation. This book is the catalyst for that shift in reality. We desperately need a fresh perspective that can provide us with the tools to recreate and rehabilitate our future. Bryant McGill is a visionary with all the makings of a prophet. This book is a must read for anyone who wants elevate their mind to a higher plane. (August 20, 2012 — Heiskell, TN)
Thought provoking and life-changing! by J. Young
Voice of Reason is a call for humanity to awaken to our highest purpose and responsibility, so that every soul can live a beautiful life! This book is a must read! As Gandhi said, "We must be the change we want to see in the world." Bryant's book gives each of us the clarity, tools and understanding to be able to do this with dignity and grace. Bryant is a rare and brilliant thought leader, who personally embodies his high integrity message with every soul he encounters. I have had the humbling opportunity to be his witness for two years, and can tell you he lives the message he espouses. While my review here may not be unbiased, it is informed, and I can attest that this book is a message from Bryant's heart, and that he has labored to send out this message in hopes of being supportive of the dream for all of us to have lives of joy and safety. I hope you will read this book, and I know you will be enriched by its powerful message. (August 18, 2012 — Atlanta, GA)
Explores a way of becoming free and changing our current society by Linda
Voice of Reason by Bryant McGill explores a way of becoming free and changing our current society through the individual. Each section goes through a different aspect of society that isn't morally correct and talks about how, as an individual, we can change the system and become truly free and happy. It focuses on being true to ourselves and not supressing who we are. Voice of Reason focuses on the human community and seeing the human race as equals in order to live in harmony and happiness.
Page 14 mentions that each religion, race, culture, etc. sees their specific group as having significance over other groups. I agree that humans should be seen as equals and no group is more important than another group. We need to work together to build a happier society.
Page 57 talks about how we are taught to act based on certain standards and not be true to ourselves because we risk losing everything. I agree that we all want to fit in and be considered normal. We are exposed to this even as a child growing up and trying to fit in to certain groups in grade school. There are so many people in the world that acting out and being honest and true to yourself would not completely ostracize you. Someone out there would agree.
On Page 58, it is mentioned that we are in a prison of "self-hate". I agree with this because we never think that we are good enough. We feel like we need to push and punish ourselves emotionally and sometimes physically as if it will somehow make us better. We do this in order to be good enough and relate to the world.
I did not agree that we are forced to live corporate lives with jobs we don't enjoy as mentioned in section 6. We are free to choose whatever path we want to take. If we want to create and be accountable for our own work, we are free to start our own companies. If we are unhappy in our career, we can go back to school and learn new skills. Corporations function with human talent. Our work is accountable and appreciated. If we are in a job that we enjoy, it's enough to work together as a company to create a successful business and using our talents to work toward a common goal. No employee is unnecessary in any company.
Page 70-71 talks about how the media conditions us to believe that we are never good enough. The perfect life is someone who has everything and is flawless. Page 70 states "The coveted perfect life is a created standard, which is purposely unattainable." We are conditioned to believe that we can be happy if we have more things. I agree that the media really pushes this, but I also believe that it is possible to see past this. The expression "The most important things in life are free" is, of course, true. People are starting to now realize that the perfect images in the media are false. There are campaigns such as Dove Beauty Campaign that encourage us to love ourselves as who we are. Common themes in many movies portray the message that love is more important than money. I think this is a very important step in the right direction for humanity.
Page 72 states "There is no happiness outside of ourselves." It is mentioned several times throughout the novel that true happiness comes from serving others and caring for people we love. I agree with this.
Page 84 states that "America is a nation of illusions: illusions in the media, schools and government, where the Iron Curtain of propaganda holds its citizens in a state of darkness and ignorant apathy." This statement is ridiculously dramatic. I don't agree that we're being brainwashed by propaganda. I think that we have been led astray by aspects in the media that are clearly misguided and used as tools to gain profit. I don't agree that there is propaganda in the government or schools. I truly believe that they are doing what they believe is the best for America and society.
Page 109 talks about peaceful protests and how they are the most useful way to speak up against what is occurring. It talks about how protests, even peaceful ones, seem to turn violent with police interference. Protests disrupt the everyday lives of citizens. When that many people gather in one place, it is hard to keep it under control. Protests get attention and have been successful, but police must interfere to ensure the safety of everyone. I disagree that they should resort to violence to control the crowds. It is unnecessary in a lot of cases. It is difficult to be noticed or heard any other way, though protesting is not a safe way in today's society to get your message across.
Page 115 mentions that "Real education needs no official validation, it is validated by its usefulness and integrity, which are currencies universally accepted." It is virtually impossible to start a career in any field unless you have spent an enormous amount to learn in an institution. I believe that learning in an institution doesn't necessarily mean that you are not gaining "real education" but I think that knowledge should not depend solely on that. With the internet, you can easily become an expert in any area you want. To discredit your knowledge because it is not "formal" is not proper.
Page 136-137 talks about how we have become anonymous through technology and that the traditional sense of community has been nearly eliminated. Technology connects us in ways that were never possible before. We can now communicate with people all over the world and relate and connect to them. Technology may have nearly eliminated this traditional sense of community, but we have now become a world community. Anyone can chat and learn about new cultures and make friends and connections across the world. We are not stuck in "cubical prison-tombs" as we can be free to be anyone and truly express ourselves through technology.
I agree with a lot of the things that were mentioned in Voice of Reason. I agree that humanity, where we are right now, is not right. We need to be in a better place. I believe that we are already heading in that direction now. A lot of the things that were mentioned in this novel are apparent to a vast majority people and we are working to change them now. Today's society is not completely hopeless as a lot of changes have been made within these past 100 years. Racial and women equality is present in a lot of countries now. Though there are still impoverished countries, we are trying to help. There are many organizations that aim to change poverty. I understand that physically helping impoverished people is different from actually making a change in the fundamentals of society. Poverty exists because something is off in society, but by helping these people and acknowledging them, we are taking a very great step in the right direction. It's not going to happen overnight. I believe that the novel should take a different tone: instead of reprimanding us for not changing right away, it should focus on the good changes that are already taking place and praise them and encourage them. (May 31, 2013)
A call to consciousness and choosing to be the change we need
A call to consciousness and choosing to be the change we need in the world, McGill invites readers to use our freedom to make a positive difference. House churches and small congregations may find each essay makes a fine sermon to share, and small groups may find much to explore. (Jul 25, 2013)
Bryant has a wisdom to share that allows all to thrive! by Lynne Hazelden
Bryant McGill has been tweeting quotes from this book over this last 6 months Such,I simply could not wait to get it. His website is a resource for everyone, from being the best you can be, healthy, how to have a good diet to providing world class coaching and business training. He also works in a global leadership role for peace flying around the world to meet the likes of Clinton and those who can influence the world and they listen to him. The difference is, he is souly driven from the heart with authenticity and a wisdom that we desperately need in the world. He lives from love, freedom for all and speaks out for those who have no voice.
He walks the walk and talks the talk = unlike many of those who write about these things and leaders on the planet. We want new leadership and Bryant plans to bring it forth not just himself but in anyone willing to listen. His work is real and relevant for anyone working on the street to those trying to change the world and right now, god knows with the global issues we face, we definitely need more real, authentic and leadership and I underline "that care".
I know this book will contain a wisdom we all need to thrive because that is who Bryant McGill is and provides in his life everyday. Bryant's words and work are true as an arrow, from the heart providing tools, knowledge and support for anyone who has a commitment to bring change or inner peace to their life.
His work not just inspires me to take time to write this review and encourage you to engage in his work, but gives me personal access to how to be a leader and make a difference to my own life, and step out into the world and be a better leader too. (Sep 3, 2012)
Giving Police Officers Their Due Credit: A Review of The Voice of Reason by Arash Farzaneh
One of the surprising parts of Bryant McGill's book The Voice of Reason is its passionate defense of police officers. Most of the book I found somewhat formulaic, as it falls into the typical vein of self-help books that praise the inner beauty of humans in a corrupt world, ideas that hark back to good old Rousseau.
Although I agree with pretty much all of McGill's ideas, such as the dangers of a corporate-governed world or the need for authenticity, compassion and kindness in a plastic conformist mono-culture, I do not think that there is much originality in its presentation here.
At times it feels like this is merely the abridged and concentrated Coles Notes version of the actual text as ideas are not fully developed or explored; instead they stick out like one-sentence aphorisms that can be quoted at conferences to either empower people or to make them feel better about themselves or perhaps both.
That being said, I really wanted to like it more, especially since the author himself had autographed my review copy! But again I felt that a book titled The Voice of Reason should at some point explain a little what this voice is or sounds like, why we should listen to it, and particularly why it ought to be based on reason since reason at times tends to be at enmity with one's inner core and spontaneous self. Yet all things considered I believe (and hope!) that a book that praises honesty should not be opposed to genuine criticism of itself.
But I must give praise where praise is due and that purports to the section "The Police: Crucibles of Society and Enforcement," in which the author remarkably and perhaps surprisingly puts a human face to the roles of the police in today's society. In a book that is focused on revolution, both inner and outer, it would have been the easy way out to blame or demonize the police, to use its members as the symbol for repression of the masses, as the embodied voice of authority.
But McGill sees and illustrates the police in a different light. In fact, he empathizes with their roles. These are people who, more often than not, may even be idealists, those who wish to make the world a better and safer place. In fact, my five-year-old son sometimes claims he wants to become a member of the police himself. Asked about the inherent dangers of the profession, he answers that there won't be any dangers as he will catch all the "bad guys" and put them in prison. Problem solved.
However, police officers may often find themselves in a compromising situation due to their social position and their official training. So much so that in many cases where we would expect or like to see their human or compassionate face, they must shield their own emotions under their cloak of officious rules. This often gives off the impression that they are aloof and uncaring beings, which in many cases is far from the truth (and I am counting on personal experience here as I have worked and hung out with police officers and find them overall more humorous and fun-loving than the average person).
One should also not forget that most people the police have to deal with on a regular basis are simply not decent and law-abiding citizens; otherwise, the police would not be contacted in the first place. In such cases, showing empathy to the bad guys would not be a good idea as they would take advantage of it and see it not as an expression of solidarity towards human suffering, but rather as a sign of weakness to be exploited and pounded upon.
This is the conflict that the on-duty police officer has to face constantly. Unlike government officials or lawyers whose humor and passion must have drained through the overuse of bland and lifeless rules and regulations (sorry if this is a stereotype and please prove me wrong), the police officer is constantly in the fields of danger and must be alert at all times not unlike a samurai. Their training and experience functions as their safeguard, while their bulletproof vest is for survival.
Their actions must be guided by the law and hence their official response may be different from their own personal one. I remember one police officer who had to fulfill his duty with a heavy heart because he disagreed with the outcome. It was a custody battle where unfortunately the conniving wife held the upper hand and was assisted and supported by the law. Yet the husband was the one who had actually acted in a noble manner; his actions had sprung out of his sincere emotional attachment to his son. The police officer in question had to follow protocol despite his own feelings in the matter.
Similarly, as McGill constantly insists, protests need to be of a peaceful nature. Any kind of violence discredits the protest and its however noble-seeming cause. In fact, violence becomes self-defeating as it brings the protestor on equal footing to the tyrant or opposed authority figure whenever it occurs.
Yet what is worse is that violence is often directed at the representatives of the authority, the extended arm of law enforcement, namely police officers. Once the police officers are faced with violence, they have no choice but to respond equally, and there will be a number of innocent people hurt in this unfortunate fray. You cannot blame the officer for doing their job and for choosing their dictated response to this situation.
That being said, McGill also realizes that there are a number of abuses perpetrated by those in power, including the police officers. This is a sad reality, as humans are fallible and they differ in their level and degree of morality. It is the literal good cop / bad cop scenario, where the latter may accept bribes or use excessive and unnecessary force in a given situation. Yet it would be the job and moral responsibility of the good cop to expose those infringements whenever they occur (which is often easier said than done).
In reality, the good guys do not want to "betray" their partners and either turn a blind eye towards the situation, or worse, they may even defend their companions. This may be because they see themselves in an unspoken but acknowledged brotherhood with the force, yet that is a mistaken identification. The good people ought to expose baseness and let those rotten apples be eaten by worms instead of supporting and helping them. One of the problems is that infringements by people in authority seem to go by unpunished and that is why the public may glance upon those in uniform with an eye of mistrust.
So let us give the police officers their due credit for ensuring protection and safety for the citizens. They are, for the most part, heroes as they are risking their lives, the same way, firefighters do not fear the burning flames. At the same time, to quote Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility, so each of the members of the Force must use their own powers and authority in such manner, namely for the benefit and good of all.
Arash Farzaneh's Website
REMARKABLY INSPIRING!!! by Shawn Plaugher
I've been following Bryant McGill for many years now because of the positive influences he represents. You will not find a more honest and humble individual. The Voice of Reason is just one example of just how powerful his message is. I recommend anyone looking for a positive message, a positive change, and a better understanding of humanity as a whole pick this book up. Learn it, Live it, Conquer it! (August 23, 2012 — Virginia Beach)
A Timely Dose of Hope by Miss Paul
It is so tempting to submit to the power of hopelessness these days, but Bryant McGill shows us that we don't have to. This book explains how each of us can effect real change by throwing off the indoctrination that has confused us and by utilizing our own, pure, and largely untapped resources within. It's an empowering and liberating perspective. Thank you Bryant!!! Read "Voice of Reason." It's not too late! (August 23, 2012)