Twelve years ago today, our country was forever changed by unspeakable acts of terrorism, and like the rest of my fellow Americans, I find myself feeling rather somber on this day of remembrance and reflection. The events of that day are seared into my memory, and even after all of these years, the raw emotions are remain, lurking beneath the surface and spilling out in more tears and anguished words. I recall watching the horror unfold in front of my eyes that morning, as I held my then four-month old daughter close to me, feeling terrified and vulnerable. Any sense of hope and safety I had were shattered when I watched the second plane hit its target and then watched the news coverage of the horrendous images and details emerge from New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. It was humanity at its worst and evil personified.
Then, in the hours, days, weeks, months, and years to follow, I witnessed humanity at its best, as people here and abroad displayed an outpouring of love and support to help those directly affected by this tragedy, and we all were united in our grief and in our healing. I still cannot bear to watch footage from that day, and I have yet to be able to explain what happened to my two daughters without sobbing. It is simply too overwhelming. So, today, more than ever, I chose to do whatever I could to make a positive difference in the world around me, for myself and for others. While none of my gestures were as grand and selfless as those demonstrated by the first responders and those brave citizens who rushed in to help in the aftermath, I have discovered that there is no act of kindness too small, and I cling to the tattered hopes that I harbor in my heart that when people are good to each other, it changes the world for good. So, here are some of the ways that I chose to honor and remember all of those lives that were lost and the heroes from 9/11 on this solemn day:
- As soon as I opened my eyes, I opened my heart and gave thanks for the countless blessings in my life and prayed for the victims of 9/11 and their loved ones and our country.
- I was freer with my compliments and gratitude when speaking to the people I encountered throughout the day.
- I treated my girls to afternoon tea and told them how much I love them, and I held them tighter to me.
- I sent in a donation to two of my favorite local charities to help them do more of their good work to make our community a better place for all.
- I thanked my parents for all of their support and hugged and kissed them, and I told them, “I love you”.
- In my heart, I forgave those who have inflicted a great deal of pain on me, and I said a prayer for them.
- I put some of the things that have caused me stress in my life into a more positive perspective and let go of the worry.
- I appreciated some of the things that I take for granted, such as living in a free country, that while not perfect, still is pretty awesome, a fulfilling job, my wonderful family and friends, my overall good health, music, etc.
It is my sincere desire to make the most of each day, as each and every day is a precious gift that is not guaranteed for anyone, and I hope to be able to brighten at least one person’s day in some way, shape, or form for as long as I am alive. It is sad that sometimes it takes moments of great tragedy to shake us awake from our complacent slumber, and I hope that we all can do our part to unite on a daily basis to make the world a better place for all who dwell in it. This may be a naïve dream, but if we let that dream die, then so dies our own humanity. We cannot allow that to happen, for then we will allow evil to triumph over good. May we never forget 9/11, and may we never give up the opportunities that are afforded to us to show the world and each other our very best every single day.
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day