Saturday, September 11, 2010

How can we get that back?

Last year I wrote down what I experienced on 9/11 while living in DC. That post focused on the day itself, but what I also remember is how the country and my community came together afterward. Half my office went to the Red Cross the next day to donate blood, and the long lines indicated that most of city did as well. That's just one example of the unity that everyone felt in the wake of 9/11. It was not New York or DC under attack, but the entire country. And we were ready to put aside differences to work together.

How have we traveled so far from that sense of unity as a country?

I ask that not just to point out that I think there is a lot of division, anger, and fear in our country now. I mean, that day of all days you would think the feeling of fear would be understandable. But that is not the feeling we remember or associate with that day. Fear and anger is not how we responded as a nation. It was unity and resiliency. But fear and anger do seem to be a driving force in our current political climate. So I ask this not just to point fingers at "those people over there" who are stoking fear, anger, and division, but also to look inward to see if my actions or words have contributed to this? What role can I play in returning us to unity, hope, and resiliency?

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