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Ray of Hope: Inspiring Peace: Insights on Chaos and Consciousness While Bicycling Across America Paperback – October 17, 2012
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About the Author
Ray Madaghiele is a human transformation engineer with heart. For the past 25 years he has integrated his extensive scientific knowledge and practical experience with the art of awakening the greatness in people. Through Ray’s engaging writing and speaking, interactive facilitations and workshops, and enlightening coaching, individuals are inspired to live happier, more fulfilling personal and professional lives; organizations are aligned and re-energized to be more successful; and communities experience an improved quality of life. Ray also worked as a civil engineering project manager for ten years prior to transitioning into human and organizational development. His unique background also includes instructing Dale Carnegie courses; co-facilitating “Lasting Happiness” weekend intensives with his wife, Lyn; serving as lay minister and board president of a large Unity church; making spiritual pilgrimages to India; and guiding initiatives to build organizations and communities with character. Currently, Ray and Lyn (and their cat, Ozzie) are full-time RVers, traveling and enjoying the beauty of North America in their customized 32-foot fifth wheel, operating their businesses while they roll. In this intriguing way, they continue to spread a positive message of hope wherever they go, inviting each person they meet to be a “ray of hope” in the world. At the release of this 10-year Anniversary edition of Ray of Hope: Inspiring Peace, the two sons, Dominic and Joe, are attending college at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
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I lived east of New York City in 2001, working in Cyber Security at a national laboratory, and my husband worked as a federal officer at "the pile" at Ground Zero monitoring for radiation and nuclear sources on the pile for four months straight, beginning the morning of 9/12/2001. He eventually suffered many illnesses as a result of his time there, including significant reduction in lung capacity, Severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the need for an organ transplant. As a family, we struggled for a decade with what felt like a dark cloud over us. It was impossible at the time to see the hope that Ray Madaghiele talks about. It was difficult to enjoy life after 9/11 because of government officials mishandling providing health care for all those who survived 9/11 but became chronically ill in the days, months, and years that followed. That battle for basic healthcare for chronic conditions as a result of 9/11 continues today. This October (2015), the health care funds that took nearly a decade after 9/11 to secure for the chronically ill who lived and worked in and around Ground Zero is up for renewal or dismissal. Judging from the fact that it took nearly a decade of petitioning to get the plan approved the first time around (many of those affected left to die without medical care during the course of the lengthy battle), there is an excellent chance that those who are chronically ill from 9/11 (which number in the tens of thousands) will be left in the dust, as toxic a dust as what filled the air and infiltrated their bodies and their lives in the first place.
I have just one point on which I disagreed with Ray and that is his regarding President George W. Bush and New York City Mayor Rudolph Juliani as "heroes" in the aftermath of 9/11. They were not heroes to many directly affected by 9/11, especially by those who subsequently became ill. Bush and Juliani showed up in person at Ground Zero and made their speeches, but Bush then proceeded to turn away when it was time to take care of first responders, clean-up crews, and residents (including thousands of children who quickly became asthmatic because of being forced to return to Ground Zero area schools when the area was not yet safe); Bush's need was to get Wall Street up-and-running ASAP, at all costs, including at human cost. Juliani fumbled the clean-up efforts by stepping in where established agencies were supposed to be calling the shots, and in the end put thousands upon thousands of people at unnecessary health risk (including all those children). The head of the EPA also let down all those affected, by providing false readings of air quality at the site which would determine the safety of working in the area. The fact that anyone working the pile at Ground Zero in those first few weeks was allowed to wear only paper face masks and even no masks at all (which was the case for my husband and many other responders at the site) proves the carelessness allowed to purvey in the name of money, pride, and appearances. My heart sank years later when New Orleans was hit with Hurricane Katrina. I knew first responders, residents, and clean-up crews in New Orleans would likely suffer the same fate as those involved in 9/11 because some critical lessons of 9/11 had fallen on deaf ears. I hoped that wouldn't be the case for the people of New Orleans, but in fact, it is what happened there as well.
As you can see, there is much that feeds the residual pain of those directly affected by 9/11, because there are still legitimate battles to be fought in the name of decency and human kindness. Ray's book gave me a lot to think about. I will return to it again and again as I seek to temper the uncomfortable reality of what still is left to be done with the hopeful vision of what the good people of this nation could accomplish if everyone embraced being a Ray of Hope.
More than anything, I set off to read Ray's book in search of the hope he promised, in search of a new path to lay before me that might lead out of the 9/11 fog that still remains. Ray's book of hope provides many opportunities for seeing things in a new light and many ways to reinforce all that positive thinking for the long haul.