on september 11

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It is a day that cannot come and go without reflection. Some of it takes me by surprise, as I go about the business of the day. Snippets of memories, sadness, wistfulness capture and take hold. Just writing the date down disturbs.

Maybe, though, we should write that date down every day purposely just to feel that terrible disturbance for a moment: a reminder of what happened, the souls we lost, and all that we lost in the wake of that day – and continue to lose. As if at a blackboard in the old schoolhouse, maybe just writing it over and over would finally bring home the lesson. Because we have assuredly not learned it.

I would like to think that we really did learn something. I would like to think that our spirit as a nation grew as a result of that horrific day.

But look at us at now, as the President double fist pumps his way to a memorial ceremony and Nike makes bank on a protest. And just look at that trail of wreckage between then and now.

If we did anything, we shrank. We shrank as a people in fear and otherness and militarism, all the while waving that flag around a whole lot and checking the stock market.

Since that time, kids have grown up to the cusp of adulthood – living their daily lives out in Patriot Act schools, never knowing any other way. Right along with their reading and writing and ’rithmetic, they learned fear, surveillance as a way of life, constraints, restraints, no expectation of privacy, active shooter drills. It’s normal.

Military-corporate dominance subsumes every aspect of our culture at the expense of the compassion, peace, justice, equality, and tolerance that would demonstrate we are thriving – all of us. And it’s just normal.

Normal doesn’t mean it’s okay. And normal can be changed.

Change does not come with a tsk-tsk as we watch the news and absorb the latest tweet. We need to honor the peaceful, loving wisdom of our better inner selves and act on that.

In the matter of what’s right and just and honorable, there are no leaders to whom to look – we are the leaders. We must be cognizant of that, and act accordingly for a better world built on love and respect, instead of the almighty dollar and all its weaponry.

 

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