Lessons from 9/11

Lessons from 9-11This blog post, which was originally written and posted on the Soul Sisters Blog in commemoration of the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, resonated with many and received a lot of attention.  Now another year has passed and we were compelled to share it with you once again.  Our hope is that it’s a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives.  May their families find comfort in the far-reaching legacy their loved ones left behind.

The commemoration of 10 years since the 9/11 attacks on our country has sparked many comments, thoughts and emotions. Each media outlet has scheduled a tribute. “Where were you on 9/11,” is a popular topic of conversation. Certainly your own community recognized the date with a remembrance as well.

We’ve seen mixed sentiments about the anniversary; everything from “we must never forget” to “it’s time to move on”. Without a doubt, the decision of “how” or “if” to recognize this tragic date is a personal one.

For us, it didn’t seem right to let the day pass without some form of acknowledgement. While we weren’t directly affected by the tragic events, our lives were drastically changed, nonetheless. What was essentially meant to be a political attack became, for every American, a personal one.

Now 10 years later, we look at where we’ve come since that tragic day. The disbelief, horror, fear, anger, frustration, have gradually given way to something deeper. What came out of the 9/11 tragedy for you? Below are 4 lessons that have emerged for us…

Appreciation: One of the most important lessons learned since that infamous day is the importance of appreciation; to learn to appreciate the little, everyday things around us. The hugs from our spouse, laughs from our children, casual interactions with friends; all could be snatched away in an instant. The present moment is a gift to be cherished.

Kindness: Who can forget the news reports showing strangers helping strangers? While most of us will never be called to carry a wounded person down fifty flights in a dark stairwell, in the shadow of 9/11 there are many more small and random acts of kindness taking place. Some even chose to commemorate the 9/11 anniversary with random acts of kindness campaigns. What a fitting tribute.

Passion: Whether to honor the dreams or desires of the ones who were lost, or the rekindled hopes of those that survived, many a passion was ignited in the aftermath of 9/11. We were inspired by the stories of families who started charities in the name of loved ones, and those who upon realizing how precious and short life is, took a leap of faith and ran after their dreams and goals. Certainly, countless people across the world were helped as a result.

Courage: Surely we’ve all imagined ourselves in the shoes of the victims of 9/11. Held hostage in an aircraft destined to become a flying weapon, trapped in the uppermost floors of a burning building with no hope of escape. How would we react? What would we do? In those final moments, there were phone messages to loved ones, giving many priceless mementos that will surely be cherished forever. There were last ditch efforts to thwart the plot, ultimately saving countless lives. There were selfless acts of heroism, forcing many to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Yes, there’s much to remember on this 10 year anniversary. What lessons did you learn since the tragic events of September 11, 2001? Please share them in a comment below. The

Soul Sisters