Friday, September 11, 2015

The Day Our World Stopped Turning... and the day after.

September 11, 2001. We all remember exactly where we were when we heard what happened. I was in my third grade classroom. The school speech teacher came in and told my third grade teacher, "The twin towers collapsed. Two planes crashed into them. At first they thought it was an accident. When the second one hit they said it was a terrorist attack." I'm not kidding, those were her exact words. I didn't even know what terrorism was. If I knew anything about it, I thought it was just a thing of the past. I don't want to get into details of how the rest of the day went. It's unnecessary and painful. But I will say I thoroughly remember hearing name after name of the people who were missing. My friend's fathers. Neighbors. Everyone knew multiple people that day who were lost.

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)
You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

1 comment:

  1. Lots of people from all over the world have plenty to say about these events but as a "New Yorker" your account is all the more powerful and meaningful. Keep wearing that sensitive heart on your sleeve and your concise analytical prowess will move with it.