‘Never Forget’ What Really Matters

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There’s no day better than today to be extra aware of what we have, to show extra love, and to take a second to recognize how blessed we are. As we learned 14 years ago, everything can change in an instant.

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Everyone has an opinion about 9/11, but an incontrovertible truth about that day in 2001 is that it scarred a lot of Americans.

Many of our friends, neighbors, countrymen were changed forever in deep ways. I often think of how scared people are now, and how wary and mistrusting we became as a country as soon as those planes flew into those buildings.

The distance between us makes me sad. We should be connected and creating more connections so that we don’t fracture to the point of falling apart. We should be finding ways to unite and heal.

It’s events like Sept. 9th that should encourage us to come together. Knowing that a random, negative event can take away the people we love or tear the fabric of our existence should be sufficiently influential in guiding us to be more mindful of the good things we have… and not “have” in the gross, consumer sense; I’m talking about the intangibles that can’t be bought or replaced.

If I knew I was going to die today, I would say all the things I needed to say, relish in my loved ones, and try to make a lasting impression. But, that’s the thing: we don’t know when our time is up. Folks in the Twin Towers probably expected to be home for dinner, probably had things they were dreading that seem trifling in comparison with how we know that day turned out.

There’s no way to replace life once it’s gone, but we can honor those losses by being forces of goodness while we can. Let’s say all the things we need to say. Let’s relish in loved ones. Let’s try to make lasting impressions.

Bad things happen. But it doesn’t make sense to live in fear of them.

To use 9/11 as a way to be belligerently patriotic does a disservice to everyone, those who passed and those of us who are still here. If we’re going to combat, let it be with everything that crushes the human spirit. To be fearful does a personal disservice. If we entertain fear, let it be only long enough to find ways to counteract it.

Let’s turn today into a reminder of the way TO live – fully, lovingly, expressively, WITHOUT fear that we didn’t give it our all.