Yesterday was difficult. It always is for me. Even today I’m finding it hard to forget what it was like six years ago. I remember the fear for loved ones and friends in New York. I remember the months of worry over mail in my state that was tainted with anthrax.
What happened six years ago has shaped national policy since then. It has had an impact on our freedoms. It has affected our national and personal sense of safety.
Listening to stories of that day still has the power to bring me to tears—as much for the heroism and courage shown by so many as for the deaths. And that’s what I prefer to focus on: the message that even in the midst of the worst moments some will find the courage to help others. Some will find a way to survive. People can open hearts and minds in such moments and for a long time afterwards.
Horrible things happen. We who read and write blogs like this know that. I hope that what I write is a reminder that good things happen too. We cannot always choose what happens to us but we can choose what we do with those events.
I’m a writer. I teach workshops. One of the things I say over and over to fellow writers is that it isn’t the events that happen to our characters that matter nearly as much as how our characters deal with the challenges in their lives. This is what distinguishes one person (or character) from another. This is the way we create the lives we want to have—by seeking out the good, by offering hope and help to others AND TO OURSELVES.
I wish 9/11 hadn’t happened. I hope that we never forget the loss but that we also never forget the courage of so many that day and the way people came together in the days afterwards. In those moments we knew we were all more alike than different, that we were united in tragedy. I hope that we as individuals and as a country can find a way to create that unity again—without having to have another tragedy to do so.
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))),