9/11, Eighteen Years Later

It’s been 18 years since we watched the towers come down. Never forget? Yes, but I don’t think I could if I wanted to, anyhow. It really was unforgettable.

A lot’s happened since the original 9/11. I thought our immediate response to the 9/11 attacks was pretty remarkable, and mostly appropriate. Yes, we made some mistakes, but we mostly came together for awhile, united for a common purpose. I’m glad that bin Laden received what I think was a measure of justice. I’m thankful that we haven’t had a similar attack on American soil.

Other than that, I’m afraid we may not have made much progress. It’s hard to go forward when we’re so focused on fighting each other.

Republicans and Democrats.
Conservatives and Liberals.
Americans and nationalists. 😠
Christians and…well, Christians. 😢🙏
Racism and retaliation.

Remember that phrase, “We have seen the enemy, and he is us”? (Pogo, comic strip, 1970). It’s hitting awfully close to home these days, I’m afraid.

Our leaders – on both sides of the aisle, and in our classrooms, churches, synagogues, mosques, boardrooms and living rooms- need to teach us (by example, of course) that we need to work together.

We HAVE to work together. Or else.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with warning his fellow signers of the Declaration of Independence, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

Mother England was the one holding the noose then. While she isn’t a danger to us now — she has problems of her own, these days — we have very real, and very dangerous, enemies who are actively working to destroy our country. Their greatest weapon is to use us against each other.

We MUST figure out ways to accommodate those amongst us who we have disagreements with, while holding to the principles of liberty and justice for all.

Disagree. Argue. Negotiate, in good faith. Compromise, when necessary. Be passionate about what you believe in. But, work together. Don’t stop until you come to an agreement.

So, how can we make this work? I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but… Maybe we need to go back to kindergarten, for starters. 🤔

*Don’t lie.
Even if you believe in your cause, and lying might help you win the debate/argument/election/case/negotiation. Tell the truth. Don’t. Lie.

*Be kind.
Don’t be mean. Ever. If they hurt you, be kind. Even if they deserve it, don’t be mean. Be kind…to everyone.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice this.

The way to make this a better world is to start by being a better person. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the effort.

I love you all. ❤️🙏

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