It is difficult to believe that 11 years have passed since the fatal attacks that took a stranglehold on our country. I have to admit, any time the anniversary of September 11th, 2001 occurs, it is difficult. To put it simply, I hate relieving those gut wrenching feelings of sadness, anger and grief. I do not watch the clips of the towers being destroyed or the horrific aftermath.
In my experience, what defines a tragedy is our thinking and personal perspective. I prefer and try to adopt a style which leads to empowerment. After all, empowered thinking and behavior is the hallmark of this project and the genesis of it.
I’m not suggesting a person should focus only on the perspective that makes you “feel good” at the sacrifice of ignoring the significance of other more somber feelings. Certainly though, some perspectives, feelings and how we choose to remember this 11th anniversary of 9/11 are more empowering than others.
How was 9/11 empowering? Many saw September 11th as a wake up call in their lives. It was a compelling reminder of how short this life really is. How none of us really knows when or how long we are on this earth. This wake up call empowered people to action. To create and start living the life that was meant to be lived.
It also shook us out of our routines and put us in a place of self reflection. We came to a realization. Our country was more fragile than we would have liked to have considered. People pondered and acknowledge that they may have been complacent. America was not as safe as they once conceived it to be. This also empowered people to act. People became more involved in their communities, in their government and made a more concerted effort to be informed.
There was a call to honor those that died, the wounded that survived and those left behind. It was a call to honor our families, our friends, the ones we hold dear. People were again empowered to take action by creating a charity, memorial or scholarship in the name of a fallen hero or loved one.
For others, it was a spiritual awakening. People looked again to God for answers. Some even came looking for God for the first time. Places of worship were packed with souls trying to make sense of a tragedy that had none. People once again became empowered with the strength of a forgotten faith or that of a newly found one.
The empowering aspects of September 11th were visible that day, the days that followed and even to this day. Deeds of compassion, heroism, charity and love showed the human spirit and reminded us how we are connected. There are only empowering and dis-empowering choices; empowering and dis-empowering actions. Making such choices is all part of the human experience. Which choice will you make?
Co-Founder of The Empowered American Project