- Posted September 26, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
10 years in Afghanistan
Lawrence of Arabia, Afghan Style
Joseph David Osman is the author of Surrender to Kindness: One Man's Epic Journey for Love and Peace, published by Adagio Press in 2010.
No other Afghan has shown the unique chemistry he has with the good people of Afghanistan.
No other Afghan has bridged both Afghans and all other nations in a bond of mutual respect.
Former CIA officer and now international security consultant Robert David Steele says, “I have goosebumps as I contemplate this book . . . I am reminded by this author of Bonhoeffer, of Gandhi, of Nelson Mandela.”
Surrender to Kindness is a means to wage peace in Afghanistan, which has known nothing but war for more than three decades. Politicians and military leaders would like to wage a “successful” war in Afghanistan, but author Joseph David Osman has a different idea: show people on both sides of the war how easy it is to reach out to Afghans with kindness and decency and respect, and then just listen to what everyone has to say.
Over a six-year period, Mr. Osman listened intently to prisoners, village elders and men and teens, former Taliban soldiers and sympathizers, and academics and military and civilian leaders. In all his conversations with the people of Afghanistan, a pattern emerged: they wanted peace, freedom and liberty. And they were willing to fight for those universal rights.
Mr. Osman, affectionately called Santa Claus and the Red Bucket Brigade by one of his commanders, wandered out into the wilds of Afghanistan, distributing gifts like shampoo, pens and pads of paper, brushes, radios, and other useful items to thousands of Afghan villagers. He touched the hearts and souls of thousands of people, each of whom responded and opened up to him.
Surrender to Kindness, or S2K, is not simply an adage that has been handed down from generation to generation. It is a way of life that Mr. Osman firmly believes in, practices every moment of his life, and shares with others wherever he goes.
"Written in powerful and passionate prose," New York Times bestselling author Steven Pressfield says, “you can’t read Surrender to Kindness and not be changed by it.”