Monday, September 10, 2012

We Remember, Do You?

I was driving in to work that September morning and tuned the radio in to Rock 103's Wake-Up Crew.  Usually, there was a lot of hilarity and hijinks ensuing as you listened to those three zany people, but this morning was somber as I listened to Tim Spencer's first words from my radio that morning:

"...and apparently a passenger plane has flown off course and crashed into one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York..."

And, there was a feeling of unease coursing through my system.  I felt nervous and scared and no knowledge of why I felt that way; but, I knew something was wrong.  I listened intently as the conversation continued and my fears were realized.  "It wasn't a passenger plane, but a passenger jet!"

I was flying in to work by that time, whipped in my parking space, and ran inside to the TV in the break room where I found my co-worker already watching television wide-eyed and open-mouthed.  "Have you heard..?"   Yes, I confirmed.  The radio show already was filling me in.

The last time I felt so horrible watching something unfold on television was back when our class got together in the library to watch the first woman into outer space and the shuttle exploded.  Similarly, but more deadly, these horribly violent and heartless terrorists were taking thousands of lives as they crashed into these towers.  I can't remember now from the shock of it all, but I saw the tower fall on TV, and saw the second plane crash.

Horror.  Sickness.  Fear.  Anger.

All those emotions that those terrorists wanted us to feel, and I succumed to it.  I gave in to every emotion I had.

Sadness struck and tears flowed from this grown man's eyes.

You know, those terrorists are heartless scum.  They destroy lives and don't even think about what they're doing because, really, if you serve a god whose lesson is destruction and murder then you're an idiot for doing it.  I wish those who've died in the course of carrying out their schemes would be able to speak back from the fiery pits of hell where they are and could inform the others that doing what they do is bad--it's arrogant, ignorant, and isn't helping any cause.  It is evil.  Pure bred evil bent on the destruction of innocents who could be there to help others through sickness, financial distress, a cure for cancer could have died that day.  Whatever curse there could possibly be for those involved couldn't be bad enough, but whatever it is I wish it on them.  I wish it on them and their families.

And what good does that do?  Nothing.  It doesn't even make me feel better to say it.  But, I wish it and I won't take it back even though it makes me a hypocrite of my own religion.

And to contradict myself and those bad wishes against bad people:
My intentions in my life is to do what I can to make life better--not just for me, but for those around me.  To bring happiness, joy, influence through positive measures.  I do this because my belief is in a God who loves and cares, who wants there to be peace and happiness, acceptance, cooperation, love, and appreciation in the world. 

Imagine this: what if all the money, effort, and planning that those idiot terrorists put forth was used in greater ways?  Suppose they used that money to fund cancer research and could help find a cure?  Suppose they used all that man-power to help raise homes for the homeless, food for the hungry, and what possibilities for humanity could be effected IF ONLY they weren't so bent on evil?

It's a shame in the course of humanity that such evil exists; but, could we appreciate the good in humanity otherwise?  Could we appreciate our own lives without the many whose lives are lost (not just from that horrible day, but in battle since)?  Could we appreciate what we have in life without days like that happening? 

I wish we could, but we don't.  I've been working with headstone design for a good while now, and in discussions about the designs I have heard regrets, sadness, resentment, and more from folks who've lost loved ones to murder, disease, accidents--the reality of the simple, very thin thread by which all our lives hang in the balance has slapped me in the face more times than I care to count but it reminds me daily to appreciate my friends who I love dearly, my family who has my heart, people I haven't even met yet.  It reminds me to appreciate things like watching the grass wiggle around in the breeze, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the beautiful stars at night; to appreciate the lightning and thunder and rain, the green of the trees, the scent of a flower, the chirping of birds, the feel of a hug or handshake, and the fuzziness of a smile, the sound of laughter...

So many things to get us down, but so many more things to bring us cheer!!

I have a hope for humanity.  I hope that the good that I expect every person to have in them will shine in big ways, happy ways, positive ways that will inspire other people to behave and continue that influence, bringing everyone closer together, just as everyone was on 9/12 of that year. 

We worked together that day in honoring those who had fallen and those who were alive and working, we donated to charities, we as a country stood together and said, "You will not do this to us, we will not be held asunder!"  And we didn't.

In honor of that day after, when we all were one people and came together, let's try harder for that.  Let's try to stand proud of our country, make a new friend, be inspirational and pass along a positive influence to others.  I think maybe if we do that then the lives lost will not have been in vain, and neither will what this great country stands for.

Your challenge?  Make this world a better place.  Be the positive influence you are meant to be, and make others happy, inspire them to be better for themselves and the world.  Love your fellow human, love the planet, love the animals--we all need each other.  Be the best YOU that you can be, and always keep your head high, smile in the face of trouble, and know that you are loved.

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