Today is the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and as I drove into the city this morning, the deejay on the country station I was listening to was asking the people there how the events of 9/11 changed their lives. So today, I’d like to share the many ways in which my life has been changed forever as a direct result of one group of evil individuals who conducted an extremely well orchestrated mass murder/suicide, believing in their heart of hearts that they would receive a reward for having destroyed so many innocents.
Because I live in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and have to take the subway to work every day, I am constantly on the lookout for people who look exceedingly nervous, who may be wearing bulky jackets, carrying a large package or wheeling around a heavy suitcase. Every time I board the subway, I feel as if I am rolling a deadly dice, not just “commuting.”
I attend far fewer events where there will be enormous numbers of people. During the Bush administration, we could clearly hear clicks during our telephone calls. Perhaps it was because we have many Muslim friends and physicians, who knows, but even today I listen for the “clicks.”
Those were my life changes, and I didn’t even lose a friend or loved one on this day ten years ago. I am a life coach, and I work every day to help people overcome traumas and rebuild after harrowing life events.
What we need to do to is determine what we can put behind us and what we must never forget. We can put behind us the lost buildings, but not the lost lives. Their memories we must not forget. We can put behind us the hate that was in the hearts of the perpetrators, but not the method in which it was spread and the fact that it still remains and is growing daily, as is reflected in yesterday’s destructive attack of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, the attacks daily upon our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the deaths and kidnappings of Americans in the Middle East, and the protests ongoing at the Israeli Embassy in Turkey.
Hate is the enemy. Teaching people that they will be rewarded for hating is absurd. Unfortunately, human beings have been teaching hate forever. Just look at our history on this planet. We would not go to war, were it not for hate. We would not kill others, were it not for hate, so why do we keep doing it over and over again? Are we fools? Do we never learn? Are we incapable of learning? Hate is evil, and should never be taught. We need to stop forgetting the past and carry it with us as we try to move ourselves forward as this planet’s most highly thinking creature.
We, as Americans, try to understand that the people who attacked us on this day ten years ago were actually taught to hate Americans, Westerners, Democracy, Israel and all non-radical Islamists, but we find that extremely hard to comprehend. Folks, it’s true. They are taught that from infancy. In many parts of Gaza and the West Bank, they are trying to change history in their textbooks by erasing Jewish historical sites and claiming them to be Muslim and removing Israel from all their maps http://bit.ly/fxSIz3. In Saudi Arabia, they are taught to hate and destroy in their schoolbooks http://bit.ly/nvVeNu. This is no joke, folks, this is real. Unprogramming and repairing the minds, hearts and souls of these individuals who are so awash in this hate/reward rehetoric is key to our survival as a planet. The problem is how does one go about unprogramming hate and re-programming co-existence, understanding, respect for one another and appreciation for every life.
As a life coach, I say we begin by being kind and understanding to one another, by teaching kindness and understanding of all peoples, by teaching tolerance and respect for every human being, regardless of race, gender, or religion; and teach that hate is the path to self-destruction, both of the individual who is walking around with the hate in his/her heart, of humanity, and of our planet. Stop forgetting the destructiveness of hate and start making this planet what it needs to be: A planet of peace and understanding for all people . . . now and forever.