Friday, September 10, 2010

Tomorrow: Think, Don't React.

Hi, I’d like to take a moment to talk to everyone, if you don’t mind.

We all know what tomorrow is. It’s a day of mourning for some. Others will use it as an opportunity to espouse whatever point of view they have. Others will treat it like any other day. I hope that everyone takes even just a moment to reflect about 9/11/2001.

9/11 is not about politics, ideology, religion, left, right, wrong, or whose god can beat up someone else’s. If we strip it to its essence 9/11, as an anniversary, should be about remembering that nine years ago, 2,000 people woke up, got dressed and went to work. And then a handful of evil creeps killed them.

I don’t care what flag you wave. I don’t care what religion you follow or what your politics are. Taken to its essence, more than two thousand people were murdered on what was shaping up to be a beautiful day.

And we’re all complicit. We are all accessories.

Not “Americans”. Not “Muslims”. All of us.

The human race committed this crime against itself and we, as members of the human race, allowed it to happen.

Not politically because of who we did or did not vote for. Not geographically. Not ideologically. We humans, we hateful, jealous, petty creatures, have been unable to treat each other with basic decency and respect for hundreds of thousands of years.

Going further, for the past nine years, have used this horrible tragedy as an excuse to enact more hatred, fear-mongering, jealousy and pettiness against everyone else. We’ve gone out of our way to demonize each other for the most minor of reasons. Skin color, who we love, what we worship—it all boils down to “I am better than you. And if you dare to think you’re better than me, I hope you die.”

“Can’t we all just get along?” has been a punch line for decades. But if we’re all complicit in the tragedy, we are all, equally to a person, responsible for putting things right. All we have to do is put the idiocy aside. All of these ideologies are ultimately pointless, meaningless to anyone but ourselves. So all we have to do is stop occasionally and ask ourselves, “How does what that person is doing hurt me? How does it affect me in any way?” Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the answer will be: it doesn’t.

I have to believe that we’re all, at base, decent, loving people. And just as in high school, what clique you’re part of does – not – matter. Put it aside.

Let’s all try to start fresh tomorrow. Leave the garbage at home. All your identifiers: Democrat, Republican, Christian, white, black, brown, gay, straight, short, tall, Aquarius, pianist—set that stuff aside.

Tomorrow, think about those people who looked up from their desks and saw the planes coming right at them. Think about the people who leapt from the windows rather than die burning. The legions of people who trudged through the dust, the debris, shell shocked and devastated. Let’s give ourselves a moment to remember how we all felt. How all of us knew that the world had changed. Forget the politics and the arguments. Think about the people.

And then, if you’re out, hold the door for someone. Let someone merge in front of you on the road. Smile at your cashier. Say “please” and “thank you” and try to remember all those manners that you learned as a toddler.

It’s so simplistic it’s almost insulting. If someone offends you in any way tomorrow, let it go. Don’t get angry; just stop and think, “This person is another human being.” Let’s honor the memories of the people who died by being worthy of life.

Or else, we’ve learned nothing in the last nine years. And Ground Zero is simply a giant hole in the ground.

No comments: