Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lessons of 9-11


Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.  - Mohandas Gandhi

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One of the lessons reinforced for me by the disasters of September 11th, 2001, is that anything can happen. You never can tell. 

No brilliance of imagination, no aptitude of logical reasoning, no foundation of history can guarantee that things will go well or go awry. I think we all really know this, even though many people act everyday as though bad things happen only to other people.

This is not to say that we need to cloister ourselves away from the world. We were reminded of that fact several years ago when a woman in Florida was killed by a plane that crashed into her house while she knelt praying at her private altar. Anything can happen.

The victims of 9-11 gave their lives while living life to the fullest. There are surely an infinite number of lessons, societal and personal, that have arisen and will continue to arise from their loss. Those lessons keep their deaths from being in vain. 

For me, however - who thankfully did not lose a loved one or friend on the same day that America collectively lost the illusion of impervious national security - following the shock and sadness, the lesson remained to forever expect the unexpected.

In that light, we must always remember that in the field of all possibility, unexpected good can happen as well. Just as so many believe that bad things happen to other people, many also believe that good things happen to other people. It's so important to understand that if something good can happen for one person, it can happen for any person.

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There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein
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When we remember the historical events of this date, we would do well to reinforce our commitment to live in the present and boldly experience each moment. Meld with the environment, whatever it is. Allow the sensation of all that is to fill you with feeling. And above all, act with compassion in all situations. That is what is singularly important when everything else is stripped away.

We owe it, to those whose lives were taken, to live valiantly and give love openly. For all those moments that they have lost, we can experience ours enthusiastically. For all the kindness they were denied the opportunity to bestow, we can give extra. For all the dreams that disappeared with their loss, we can dream larger and believe for them.

We owe it to them to do our best to make the world a better place.

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We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.  - Martin Luther King, Jr.



  1. You gave voice to thoughts that I have voiced myself. On days when I feel a trifle grumpy, or worse, when I get whiny, I think of those whose lives were taken prematurely. The victims of Sept. 11th, the brave soldiers who represent our country all around the world who often never make it home, the brave people who keep our society safe on a daily basis...policemen, firefighters, first responders. All of them walk a tightrope's edge that snips their Life Cord with zero warning. Each of them would gladly live another day...another moment...that I sometimes complain about. It is a valuable reminder to be cognizant of the sacrifices made. Not to dwell in sadness, but to be appreciative of where we are...upright, breathing and living that next moment. I strive to do that living in a positive mindset as much as possible. Beautiful post, Canyn. :)



  2. Thank you, Dawn. I think about them too. How much life means, even when it isn't perfect. I really appreciate your feedback. ❤2U