“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.” ― David Levithan, Love Is the Higher Law
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” –Henry Van Dyke
Tomorrow is the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11. There’s been a bit of traffic on the social networks about the attacks with people reminiscing about their experiences and what they learned from the events of that day. I was deeply touched by a heart wrenching article by a journalist who interviewed the husband of one of the victims on flight 93 a few days after the plane crashed. He was remembering how open the husband was with his feelings of loss and grief. He was deeply touched when the husband asked him if he wanted to listen to the wife’s last messages. Her voice was calm and full of love.
At the end of the article the author stated that he believes good always overcomes evil, and he enumerated the various times in history when good has prevailed. But now, he pointed out, we’re facing a new threat from ISIS. His focus was on all the things going on in the Middle East. In doing so, he missed a big problem right here in this country.
Understandably the events of that terrible day sent us into shock, grief and fear. For those of us who were old enough to remember, the images of that day and the emotions we felt are seared into our memory. We will never forget them as long as we live. I want to say right now that I honor all those who died, whether they were in the planes, buildings, or trying to save people. But I feel like we’ve let the fear and confusion of that day rule our choices. We’re not as tolerant as we used to be.
Okay, I know I can put a positive spin on any situation. If you’ve been reading my blog this past year and a half, you know that. But as I wrote in my last post, we’ve come to a dangerous crossroads in this country. The evil isn’t only in the Middle East, or in the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. It’s here in our cities and towns. We’ve let fear co-opt our better judgment in many ways. At least some of us have.
In recent weeks police departments armed with military gear, have attacked peaceful demonstrators protesting against racially motivated police attacks. They’ve arrested fast-food workers, who, again, were demonstrating peacefully trying to get their companies to pay them a living wage, and we continue to have a whole section of the Republican Party treat our President and anyone who doesn’t think like they do with blatant disrespect.
I didn’t like President Bush. I thought he was a terrible President, but I didn’t blast him publicly. He was the President, and I kept my mouth shut, except in private conversations. Now days it seems like bashing the President and his policies is a game of one-up-manship. It’s just one indication that some people have closed their minds and are increasingly hateful and intolerant.
Those who criticize the President, and who advocate using extreme force against our citizens, are proving to me that we’re dangerously close to a Nazi Germany type climate operating right here in the U.S., and I think it all started on September 11, 2001. We got so caught up in protecting ourselves, that it’s had unexpected consequences. I believe many people live in the fear that we’ll experience another day just like that one, even though it was thirteen years ago and the world is a very different place now.
Go back to our Constitution and take a good look at the rights it gives us as citizens.
Amendment I states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment IV states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Admittedly I’m not an expert on the Constitution of the United States. But, it seems some people’s rights have been seriously violated of late. Those who have acted against the Constitution have acted out of fear. I know from personal experience that fear can rule your life to such an extent that you are able to twist authoritative documents to support your position no matter how paranoid or hateful your position may be. There are sectors of our society that have become so focused on self-preservation, that they are willing to do anything to protect themselves. They can’t see that they’ve gone over to the dark side and are violating the rights of others.
I agree with that journalist who remembered the interview so long ago that still affects him to this day. Good does always overcome evil. But good has to be awake and paying attention or things can get out of hand. I think we’ve come to the point where we’re in danger of evil getting a strong foothold. If it does, we’ll have a very difficult time overcoming it.
How do we overcome the extremists who are so full of fear that they can’t see straight? This is a secret they can’t understand, “…the energy of a loving thought is enormously more powerful than that of a negative one.” –David R. Hawkings, M.D., Ph.D., Power VS. Force. And as he points out on page 282 of his book, one individual who calibrates at the level of 300 counterbalances 90,000 individuals who calibrate below 200. Of course, the higher your calibration, the higher the number of people below 200 you counterbalance.
Trying reason with the extremely fearful won’t work, nor will resisting what they’re trying to do. The only thing that will work is to practice meditation, self-discipline, and love. Cleaning up our issues, releasing our fear and learning to love ourselves and others will help set our country and the world on a new path away from fear and hatred. That’s how we shrink evil. That’s how we heal the world.
Lucinda Sage-MIdgorden © 2014
8 thoughts on “Where Are We After 9/11?”
OK, Good, time to wake up. NOW. I like this idea. This world needs it.
Debbie, I think we are waking up, but it’s the negative people who get the attention.
Lucinda, I don’t know where to start. It seems your writing does that to me!
I remember 9/11, and I remember my first reaction. It cam from anger. I wanted to go bomb those who did that terrible thing.
I quickly came to my senses, and the Friday afterwards, four days later, I was in Tucson standing for peace. Our group was terribly harassed, even threatened. It occurred to me that I could die on the sidewalk that day.
On the first anniversary of 9/11, the Cochise College Douglas campus had a remembrance ceremony. Classes were encouraged to come and I took mine. It was an hour-long explanation by a military official of exactly what we as a country had been doing to counteract the terrorists. I was sickened. It was not a memorial at all. I don’t believe the victims were mentioned once. In fact, it was almost military recruitment. I should have walked out. May have, except I was there with twenty-some students.
My concern today is that fear has jumped on the bandwagon with power. Together it is much worse. Military weapons and tanks in the hands of small-town police forces is absolute nonsense. In Missouri, there wasn’t enough money for lapel cameras for the police (which may have prevented the shooting there) but somehow there was enough money for police forces from many neighboring communities along with the use of military weapons. That’s power combined with fear.
More than ever, I want to leave this country. I am so disgusted by all of this. And I know it may not be better elsewhere. But at least in another country it would not be my own representatives abusing their fear-based power. I think I could live a little easier with that.
Emilie, You’ve got to do what you think is best for you. The place where you can fulfill your purpose. Thanks for sharing.
Like everyone else, I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I also remember Kent State like it was yesterday. Things haven’t changed so much, at least on the ground…in the world. There will always be fear. There will always be hate and anger. There will always be misaligned use of power.
There will also always be love and faith and hope for a better world. There will also always be people standing up for what’s good and right and true like you have done today. Your righteous anger is a valuable thing.
What’s changed is what’s going on that can’t be seen. We have come a million miles since where we were in May of 1970. The number of people who are dedicating their lives to elevating their consciousness and that of others is causing a massive recalibration that is rocking the world. It just isn’t in the news. The world views it as an impotent force. If we are to believe what Hawkings was writing about, then we’ve nothing to fear.
May I note that while anger does have its place and can motivate and challenge people to think differently, could it also be there is an element of fear in your response? Fear that others won’t get on board and we’ll ultimately succumb to the power mongers among us? Just food for thought. 🙂 Thanks for a great, thought-provoking post.
Dorothy, Thanks for your thought provoking response. I don’t feel fear about the future. I can feel the change happening. I know the invisible forces of awakening are working. I wrote this post and others like it because I’ve stayed silent too long. People don’t change until they are challenged to change their perspective. Some still won’t, but I’m aiming for those who are willing to see the things that are happening in a new way.
I’m going to do as M. Scott Peck did in a workshop I attended years ago, and crinkle my nose and say, “I’m an evangelist”. I’m an evangelist for breaking out of old thought patterns, for healing ourselves to heal the world, for opening up to the mystical world. I’m an evangelist for looking at what’s happening now and saying, “Well that’s not working. We’ve got to think outside the box and create new ways to interact with each other.”
I think you are right, I’m angry at times. I’m angry at myself for waiting for things to get better without contributing to the discussion. And I’m impatient because I see where we’re going, but we’re not there yet. Where we’re headed is a much nicer place to live than where we are now. There is nothing to fear about the future. I’m just another voice calling to people to help change the world.
Thanks for helping me figure all that out.
Tough one. I applaud your hope and once again enjoyed reading your post and learning a little more about you. Thanks for sharing and your candid style.
I lost a high school friend in one of the towers on 9/11. Am I angry? I don’t know… It’s very sad for his and all the other families. Unlike John Lennon or Gandhi or perhaps you, I am not a dreamer. I 100% respect your hope and prayer for the future but also need to be pragmatic… Some things will never change.
I don’t know if things are really any different or worse than they ever have been. I just think the world is a much smaller place and the hatred and fear are right in our faces.
Maybe i am just part of the problem. Complacency may be just as big a deterrent to the success of your cause as actually creating the hate and chaos. Sorry about that and good luck. I’m rootin’ for ya!
I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish I could take away people’s pain over horrible events like 9/11, but I can’t.
I think we all get beaten down at times. With all that’s going on right now, I think that’s completely understandable. Perhaps you’re more sensitive than you know or care to admit. I believe insensitive people aren’t as affected by events as you’ve described yourself to be. For years I kept my mouth shut hid my self away and did what I had to do.
Since I’ve resumed my spiritual work, and begun writing, I can’t stay silent any longer. That’s my path. Yours is different. That’s a good thing. We all have our roles to play. I don’t know you well, but keep creating. That’s a huge positive contribution to the world.