Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Terrible Anniversary

It is the anniversary of a terrible event, and in my view the event is still taking place, a smelting fire still burning seven years after ignition.

It is not my view that the event itself instantly changed the country and made it into what it is now. No terrorist has ever had the power to change the character of our country. We are doing that ourselves. The choices have always been ours, even though our government is clearly not in our control or accountable to us.

Our own response has to begin with how we individually treat other people, especially people who are different. I don't know where else a sane response can begin. My neighbors across the street annoyed me with their dogs and their shouting and the trucks revving their engines, so my response was to walk over there and admire their baby and start saying hello to them. Without a human connection, what is possible? Now, at least, we exist to each other.

Some of the new airport security rules are crazy and don't make us safer, so when I was in an airport last month I said hello to the TSA employees and made a fleeting personal connection. Without a human connection, what is possible? There is, at least, a possibility that the absurdity of the situation will poke a hole and let a little bit of light in. One day we might actually wake up and make sensible decisions about what makes us safe.

On the terrible anniversary, I won't be walking around with a solemn expression. I will be walking around saying hello to strangers.


Pam said...

I will be wishing my little sister a Happy Birthday! The big 50!!!

Ji Hyang said...

you truly are creating world peace.