Will you leave this world a better place? That is a question we should ask ourselves on a daily basis. But particularly today, on the 10-year anniversary of the day that shattered the world that was. Yes, our world has changed drastically since that awful day and we can never go back to where we were on September 10th of 2001. But the question is, have we actually changed?
Do we work to make this world better than we found it? Or do we consistently give in to petty differences, envy, frustration and avarice? It’s a pretty scary world these days on many fronts. We have been off-balance since 9/11, never on a steady footing. And the economy has made it impossible for anyone to feel secure about anything these days. But when you listen to the survivors of that terrible day, those who wonder why they were chosen to live when so many died, to a person they say that they are looking for their purpose in life, the reason they are still here. And they know that part of that purpose is to make this world a better place.
So, how do we do that? Certainly not by the travesty we have seen in our Congress with nonsensical infighting and name-calling, better suited for an elementary-school playground than among leaders bestowed with the privilege of representing the people of our great nation. They need to set the example for us, to show us how to rise above our differences and realize that we all have the same goals, even if we have different ideas of how to achieve them. How do we teach our children these life lessons, if all they see are adults choosing infantile behavior over the mature examples of compromise and civility?
As individuals, we need to cherish each day we are given, since no one is guaranteed tomorrow. We need to look at each day as a gift, which it is, and try to do what we can to, at the very least, not add to the burdens of our fellow travelers, and if possible, ease those burdens the best we can. To bring a smile to someone sorely in need of cheer. To give a hug to someone who feels alone in the world. To forgive not only others, but also forgive ourselves our failings and strive to do our best.
We live in a wonderful country, filled with amazing people and we need to remember that. The events of 9/11 should be a reason to reflect and honor both those who died, and those who survived. We must never forget. And by living lives of honor and compassion, we will ensure that we will make our world a better place than we found it, not only for us, but for generations to come. Let’s roll.
Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved