Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To My Fellow Humans - On 9/11

I have been thinking again.  <Oh no, here she goes again!>

Yes, over-analysis is quite my thing; my thought-process may be shifted, sorted, reviewed, researched, molded, plied, and manipulated from a couple of brainwaves to an extended period of cranium-induced exercises.  <Doesn’t she have an off-switch?  Geesh.>

Today, my mind does circular donuts around the date:  September, 11th.  It has been twelve years since the horrible terrorist attacks on our U.S. soil that forever changed our innermost beings.  Most of us remember precisely where we were and what we were doing at the very moments each plane crashed into the respective World Trade Center towers, into the Pentagon and into the field in Pennsylvania.

What I remember most about the significant date of 9/11 is the humanity that shone through and carried on for the weeks thereafter.  Civilization came together and humans helped each other by digging through rubble; and further by hugging each other for the losses of security, memories of what was and of the countless lives affected that day.

Again, we witnessed unbelievable acts of heroism and courage on April 15th of this year, when Boston was bombed during its biggest sporting event of the year, the Boston Marathon.  People came together immediately to help our fellow humans again.  Blood, sweat and an awful lot of tears were shed and mixed as we cast aside the “Why?” and we simply loved our respective beings, strangers or not.

One element that makes me most proud to be an American is our ability to come together in times of great strife and turmoil.  Differences are most certainly cast aside without a second glance, sleeves are rolled up and we band together as one to care for each another.  Our pasts are completely irrelevant for a brief period: our socio-economic backgrounds and demographics temporarily irrelevant, our religious affiliations and our personal beliefs immaterial for the time being.  People helping people in the most basic, and yet, the most essential and necessary ways – and why do we not do this on a regular basis?  My mind ponders why - why only in tragedies do we cast aside our differences and resort to the crucial need of humans helping humans?

In an effort to not disregard the thousands that do help one another on a regular basis, there are many who support their fellow villagers by fund-raising for those who are ill; by helping with childcare for those strapped by employment restraints or challenging home situations; by supporting those who have fallen upon hard times and providing for them in their time of need; by lending an ear or a heart for someone who’s had their heart broken; or even by the very professions that allow specialized people to care for another as their daily job requires whether it is by fire-fighting, police work, medical skills or more.

My thoughts continue to bounce around in my mind, not unlike the Roomba vacuum.  Instead of cleaning my brain, the views I ponder simply bounce off the constraints of my skull and answers remain elusive.  Why do we not undertake caring for our fellows as a way of life, said actions carried out like the tasks we perform for work and at home regularly?  Why do we not teach our children these actions are just as important as the pleases and thank-yous?  We buckle up for safety in our cars regularly, but when is the last time we embraced a friend or acquaintance for a similar protective snugness in the ride of life?
In these twelve years, post-September 11th, I have learned that there is nothing quite stronger than the bond of humanity.  When humans act together, I am quite sure even diamonds are not stronger.  An act of helping your fellows does not have to be grand in nature.  In fact, there is a clich√© that says every small rock casts a ripple, which creates a larger ripple and so on.  Imagine, a world where your small act of kindness may set off such a chain reaction! 

Many acts of kindness are circulating lately, but what about if we did not pay for the coffee behind us and what if we did not send a caring letter to a friend, but instead, we simply incorporated acts of caring beyond those ideas?  Right?  <Right!>  NO!  SAY IT LOUDER!  <RIGHT!!!!!!!!>

Last week, I asked you to take inventory of your friends (Who Are Your Friends?) and ask yourself what you really wanted.  This week, I am challenging you to stop and make a list of five (yes, only five, you can do it!) kind acts you can do for your fellow neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, and any other person you may see on a regular basis. 

·         Maybe you bring the trash and recycling bin in for the mother who has her hands full of kids, groceries and backpacks upon her return home. 

·         Perhaps you send a backpack fully loaded with school supplies to your child’s teacher knowing they will put it to a child who needs it (info can be found here:  Cara's Kids). 

·         Maybe that friend on Facebook has been putting on a brave face despite her challenges at home and she needs a bag of apples from your local orchard. 

·         Perhaps your elderly neighbor could use some frozen meals to easily defrost and prepare for himself as his children live out of state. 

·         Maybe the boy on your son’s soccer team just needs a gentle hug and a ride home.

·         Perhaps your boss could use something sweeter in her life, so bring her a plate of cookies.

·         Maybe you mow the grass of the neighbor next door as he tries to balance his life.

Teach your children by your actions, not your directives.  Let us pave the way for future generations starting now.  The list of ways to help each other is endless; your imagination is without boundaries and your ability to support your village is always there. 

How will you help another human being today?

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