Footprints in the Windsm # 1116–Soon ten years later

Footprints in the Windsm # 1116

Come back with me to September 11, 2001:

What were you doing when you heard? Who told you? How many times over those days did you watch the towers collapse, one after the other? The plane go into the second tower? Did you think about the people jumping? The priest praying for people struck down as he prayed? The people walking as ghosts covered in grey ash?

How many times did you ask each other what was happening? Do you remember the stillness of the skies? Do you remember feeling closer to your countrymen? Did you put out a flag? Were you more tender to New Yorkers than ever before?

How did it end? Someone got on TV and said the way to show we are not bowed is to—what? Go shopping.

That killed the spirit of those days.

What happened was this. We were not primarily in a place of sadness, or shock, or grief. We were in a place of oneness: We were one people sharing sadness, shock and grief. I remember how people all over the world reached out to us—condolences expressed to an American couple in a restaurant in France, people in Canada putting up air passengers in private homes, emails—O! the emails!

And what did the call to the malls do? It called us back to separation, to individuality, to fragmentation! It hurt!

We might have gone through the stages of grief. We might have examined ourselves to see if we had contributed. We might have taken the hands extended to us. We might have sought understanding and to understand. We might have claimed our humanity. Now we can mourn…ourselves.

What does this have to do with conversation? Everything! September 11 is in our past—and our future. But it does not have to be our now—we can choose.

Population compression makes it inevitable that we will meet our antagonist more each year. But we can choose how we meet—in violence or in intercourse.

War, disease, oppression are in our future—unless we choose—to work the difficult work together—never assured of the outcome.

Please pass it on.

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Published in: FootprintsintheWind/sm | on January 1st, 2011 | No Comments »

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