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I can’t believe it’s been 19 years since the 9/11 attacks. I remember watching it unfold on TV, knowing that things would never be the same for us. As the initial shock wore off, we all seemed to come together and for a while, we stood united. Truthfully, I can’t remember a time when I was as proud of our country before or since.
This year, we are dealing with crisis and it feels like we’ve never been more divided. We need to get the virus under control, get people back to work and for our economy to recover. Maybe it’s because it’s an election year and everything has become so politicized. We argue over wearing masks, racism, politics, going back to work and school – and for the most part, we’re just plain intolerant of everyone who doesn’t think like we do. Certainly, we are all experiencing a bit of fatigue with all the different issues coming at us this year. Let’s face it, we’re getting cranky.
Another thought is that because we’re missing human connection it’s hard for us to think of what others are going through. Could that be the reason we are all so unkind and judgmental? Is it that we don’t remember what it felt like when we stood united in the face of crisis? Have we lost our ability to empathize with others?
Some question why it seems to take some major catastrophe for us to come together as a country and put our collective arms around each other. The simple answer is that we don’t pay as close attention to what everyone else is going through unless we’re going through something too. Maybe it’s just that when major events happen, we hear so much about it on social media and on television that we pay more attention, for a while anyway.
Whatever the reason, I wish we could remember those times in the past when we stood united and recall how much kinder we were to each other. It really doesn’t take much to take care of each other. My friend Vikki is really great about connecting with people through kindness. Just the other day, she sent me a box of my favorite cookies, for no particular reason. It was a small act that took little effort on her part, but it made my day! I’ve done some random acts of kindness too and let me tell you, it does your heart as much good as it does the person for whom you’ve done the kindness.
So, as you reflect back on this Patriots Day, don’t forget to think about the time we stood united and honor those who were lost by remembering when a nation became a neighborhood. Let’s try to be kind to each other and get through this together.
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