Then came September 12th.
I'm not sure i've ever learned a lesson the way I have on September 12, 2001. It was as if every bad intention any American had ever had in their body fleeted. It was gone. EVERYONE loved each other that day. Everyone loved our country. Every American stood in unity. I remember walking outside to see our nations flag on our tree with my mother and everyone who lived on my block did the same. Then we drove around to stop by Target because we were collecting items to donate to the heroes over at ground zero and on our way there, EVERYONE had the American flag flying. There was not one house we passed the didn't have our nations flag flying.
Within just a few hours, my house was jam packed with items to bring to our heroes. EVERYONE in our town brought items from tents to food to clothes to bandages. I remember specifically picking out Icy Hot and thinking I had saved someones life by donating that. I don't know why I remember that minor detail but to this day I feel like someone got good use out of it.
Now to my point.
Why is it that on September 12, 2001 our nation was unbreakable and full of love for our neighbors but within this past year our love for one another has turned into violence and hatred and division? Why can we be so strong after such an incredibly intense terrorist attack but not now? Why can't we respond to today's issues the way we responded on September 12th?
We are understandably always looking for answers and justice for everything . But because we live in a broken world we will never solve our issues by fighting with each other to get that.
Take these three touchy issues for example:
- The shooting of Michael Brown
- The suicide of Robin Williams
- The shooting at Sandy Hook
We fought over it all. Should Officer Wilson be punished or did he lawfully defend himself? Was Robin Williams' suicide selfish or was this a result of a mental illness? Should nobody be allowed to carry a gun or should everyone be allowed to?
When the attacks on 9/11 happened, as a country we did not fight with each other to get to a conclusion on why this all happened. We stood as one nation, one family even. I felt like strangers were even my family that day. I understand some of you may be thinking that the difference is that these issues stated above are domestic, but that's not the point here. The point is that we progress so much more efficiently when we choose to love and be empathetic in our response to negativity.
If we continue to walk through life with the paradigm of seeing "us versus them" we will never progress.
I don't know if this will change your mind, but I hope it does. Praying for everyone affected by this tragedy or any they've experienced this year. Praying for everyone in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. Praying that we all move forward wearing our hearts on our sleeves more.
On September 11 and 12, please remember to love.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)