Our Creative Contribution: Bringing Ancient Wisdom to Modern Prevention
ARCSP (with UAF, Fort Wainwright and Fairbanks Shakespeare Theater) has established a dramatic reading of Sophocles’ play Ajax. Ajax was the second best Greek warrior in the Trojan war. Only Achilles was a better fighter than Ajax. In Homer's Iliad, Ajax is a steadfast hero fending off the Trojans with his mighty shield. Frequently described as "huge" or "great" or "swift", he was a man of few words and powerful actions. Yet, facing severe dishonor and humiliation, he takes his own life thereby becoming the the first notable suicide in the Western tradition. Presented to all deploying troops at Fort Wainwright, this will become an on-going effort.
Likewise, ARCSP has also developed a half-day seminar on Samson soon to become a dramatic reading. Like Ajax, Samson was Israel's hero as he fought against the more technically advanced Philistines. His more notable deeds include killing 1,000 Philistine enemies with nothing more than the jaw bone of an ass and carrying Gaza's city gates 40 miles up toward Hebron. Known as the strongest of men, he was undone by Delilah's charms. Samson was captured, blinded and then faced a similar kind of dishonor and humiliation as Ajax. So, like Ajax, Samson took his own life thereby becoming the first notable suicide in the Eastern tradition.
Heman was one of the wisest of men in all of the Ancient Near East. Writing at the same time as Ajax and Samson (3,200 years ago), his lament (Psalm 88) could have been sung by both of these more famous heroes. In very few words, Heman writes profoundly on dishonor and humiliation. His elegy provides dramatic imagery of what it means to be extremely dark and deep. It is a most precise commentary on depression. In addition, he surfaces key elements of anxiety by describing the constant treading in flooding waters and suffering the endless pounding waves. But his eloquence is most acute when he speaks of his isolation and insignificance.
These timeless works add a storehouse of ancient wisdom to the modern prevention efforts. This effort is endorsed by the following military organizations: Alaska Veterans Foundation; Marine Corps League; Veterans of Foreign Wars; American Legion; Disabled American Veterans; Alaskan Native Veterans Association. It is also endorsed by the following church organizations: The Evangelical Covenant Church (Pastor Ken More); Evangelical Presbyterian Church (Pastor Andy Ekblad); Disciples of Christ (Pastor Derek Dickinson); Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (Pastor Amanda Kempthorne).