09 September 2011
When I was drawing today's card, the news was playing in the background, naturally saturated in 9-11 remembrance.
I have mixed emotion about the whole topic of 9-11. On one hand, I feel for those specific bereaved families, and would not want to inflict any further upset onto them. I believe the love they shared with the family and friends they lost transcends time. Any act of remembrance is an act of love, from one person to another.
It is appropriate that we all show support for them.
On the other hand, as a total population, the vast majority of us did not lose someone close to us that day. As a percentage of the population, the injuries and casualties of Iraq and Afghanistan has caused more total impact then the events of 9-11. With all due respect, sympathy and compassion to individual tragedy, as a nation, as a whole, we are at a crossroads. We need to get over ourselves. For those of us not directly involved, there is a point where we turn their personal tragedy into a national wallowing in hyper-emotionality and self-pity. That, to my mind, is an insult to their losses and an insult to the memory of those lost. It is time for us, as a whole, to take a new direction or risk stagnation and darkness. It is time for us to honor those people and those events through courage instead of fear, peace instead of war, compassion instead of intolerance.
For some unknown reason, the last post about the Sun card has been popular. Given the historic context of this weekend, I'm not surprised that the Sun came up again today (all pun intended).
The sun is a symbol of LIFE, of LIGHT, of stability...
When 9-11 happened we could have chosen to react differently. Instead we collectively chose to be afraid, to be angry, to go to war, to villify those who protested the wars as 'unpatriotic', to spy on ourselves, to torture. We chose a world of pat downs and misnomered 'patriot' acts. Some even chose to use innocent military funerals as a means of expressing hate. Sure many, many individuals have acted with courage, vision,even selflessness...like the military, first-responders, NYFD, NYPD....heck, New Yorkers in general. But the national sway, in hindsight, was the opposite.
George Lucas was absolutely right when he wrote that fear and anger leads to the dark side.
Now, at the tenth anniversary, we arrive at a new crossroads. Yes, we should remember those lost...but maybe a kind thought for those lost to hatred world-wide might be order too. In my opinion, the best way to honor those lost is to live with compassion and courage.
Not live stupidly...reasonable safegaurds are, well, reasonable. Not live with war, fear and bigotry. Live with a compassion and courage that would make lost loved ones proud and make war-mongers quake. Down that path we might find the stability so craved since that day ten years ago.
Deep in the human brain, there is a cell cluster of special cells called the amygdala. If I'm understanding correctly, it has to do with dealing with emotions, conditioned fear responses...the pavlov's dogs kind of thing.
Perhaps it is time to reach deep within ourselves and reawaken our national amygdala, to learn to get over our fears, get over ourselves, to stop wallowing in self-pity over what happened. It is a time to choose a path of light instead of a path of darkness. It is time to shake of the dust of "ground zero", put aside fear and anger. If we remember and commemorate by way of compassion and courage, then the sun rises again over the world trade center.