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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro


Updated: Jul 11, 2020

Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine. Good or bad? Both.

A whole lot of things can be either good or bad. Rain can be a heavenly gift to farmers whose crops would fail without it . . . or it can destroy crops with floods. Fire is what heats homes on cold winter nights . . . or it can turn the home into a pile of ashes. Food is necessary for life . . . but overeating to obesity can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine is the chemical name for what is commonly called C4, which stands for Composition 4 due to its combination of ingredients. It is a plastic (malleable) explosive which can be used constructively or destructively. As an U.S. Marine engineer officer I was trained to use it both ways. In Vietnam it was used in quarries to blast rock into usable sizes for road building (constructive) . . . and it was used to blow up enemy command centers (destructive).

The same principle applies to people. Any individual can, at any given point in time and/or over the course of time, be constructive or destructive. Put simply, one can contribute to the peace and well-being of one’s community, or one can contribute to the opposite. There are individuals who are walking, talking, breathing positivity . . . folk who breathe life into the world with their mere presence. There are others who walk, talk, and breath negativity . . . folk whose presence engenders darkness and gloom and doom.

I know which kind of person I want to be. While I’m not always a world-class success at it, my goal is to embody love and kindness and compassion and grace. With that as an operative principle for living, I will be better off, anyone with whom I rub shoulders will be better off, and (ripple effect) the whole world will be better off. I cannot control anyone else . . . but I can control me. So . . . me . . . let’s keep working at it.

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