On September 11th, 2001, four commercial aircraft failed to reach their destination. The passengers and crew aboard (and almost all evidence of plane wreckage) have not been seen since. “Suicide skyjacking” of two of the aircraft is “credited” with the destruction of THREE World Trade Center buildings in New York (and the deaths of nearly 3,000 people who were inside), a shift in financial fortunes, and the start of a new and never-ending Global War OF Terror (GWOT). Others died and/or were injured on the same day near Washington, D.C., when another of the now infamous four flights of the day resulted in some (noticeable but reparable) damage to the least-occupied outer ring of the United States Department of (War and) Defense’s Pentagon building. The final flight of the fourth famous plane apparently ended in a field in Pennsylvania – but the story of why and the possible actions of some passengers aboard lives on.
The stories we tell – ourselves and others – matter and mean more than most people realize. Events and facts do not change, but our perception of and connection to them – and the stories we tell about them often does. It’s important to ask ourselves how the stories we tell “serve” us – and whether there may be better stories we could be telling (and believing more) instead.
Calling September 11th “9-11” is not the same as calling “9-1-1”.
People deal with “real” emergencies and disasters far faster and better than implied, anticipated, or (what may turn out to be mainly) imaginary ones (in the future) – or only remembered ones (in the past). The meaning and significance of anything (past, present, or future) is mainly whatever we (individually and collectively) decide. As we think about what has happened in the past, it would be wise (for each of us) to consider what we would like to choose for the future we are creating and living into in the present.
What does September 11th mean to you – and what do you intend to do as a result?
© 2010 – 2011, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.