I’m not a political person and I rarely comment on politics because I firmly believe before you have an opinion you should really know what the hell you are talking about. Plus like my mother always said, “never discuss sex, religion or politics at the dinner table.” Colin Powell is someone I remember well, I remember when 9/11 happened there was a feeling here that when Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke that there was level headedness amongst the chaos that engulfed the world in the coming days, weeks and months after the most darkest day on September, 11th, 2001. It was this same level headedness that prevailed when General Colin Powell spoke to the UN security council in 2003 . Those were scary days and there was a feeling of hysteria in the world. The image of him holding a vial stating that this could be anthrax and declaring that Saddam Hussein had a biological and a nuclear warfare program in Iraq seemed real.
The general feeling was that if Colin said it, then it must be true. America went to war and they never found those weapons of mass destruction and now we know that going to war was based largely on false intelligence information. I do believe that Colin Powell was telling the truth as he believed it and was doing what he felt was right. I recently read an article about General Colin Powell that shows his true character in a moment of personal chaos. In 1996, Powell was the keynote speaker at a national conference for a leading residential real estate company’s top producers. After his talk, he called out for any questions and someone in the audience had the nerve to say this:
“General Powell, I understand that your wife once suffered from depression, had to take medicine and was even in a mental hospital. Do you want to comment on that?” Can you imagine, an attack on someone’s loved one, an attack on a loved one in the most vulnerable state. Exactly what is wrong with people, why are people happy when someone else is not happy or when someone is popular or successful it makes some people glow when they hear there is trouble in paradise. Society can be sickening at times. In fairness to the crowd, it is written that most of the 8000 people in the auditorium gasped at the inappropriateness and cruelty of the question. The best part of this story is General Powell’s answer:
He looked straight in the eyes of the questioner, paused for a moment and then said “Excuse me, the person you love more than anyone is living in hell, and you don’t do whatever you can to get her out. Do you have a problem with that sir?”
Whatever the questioner was expecting, to shake up the great General, to make him sweat, to make him furious, or even make him cry, did not happen. Instead General Powell handled it beautifully, threw it right back at the man in the most dignified manner. Solid as a rock. I’m sure the man wanted to crawl on the floor all the way out of the auditorium. Mental illness or mental instability is not something to be made light of or used against someone to make them feel shameful. It’s a serious condition and it affects everyone around the victim. Family and friends feel helpless, alone and frustrated, it’s a time for support and love, a time to be solid as a rock. All political opinions aside, I can’t help it but like a man who makes no excuses for his love for his wife and is her rock at her most vulnerable time.
Story of Colin Powell’s keynote speaker incident from:
the website of Dr. Mark Goulston