Ten years ago, when September 11 became September 11, I felt that deep, shared national longing to find meaning in the senseless and horrific acts of violence. And, like so many, it motivated me to find more meaning in my own life. I was living in the D.C. area then, and was so struck by how gently we treated each other in the aftermath, with kindness and compassion. For about 2 weeks, anyway.
Our leaders may have felt that longing to find meaning, too, but they caved instead to their many fears. We weren’t called upon to reflect on what had brought people to such a level of hatred. We weren’t asked to find a way to give meaning to all those deaths by being courageous ambassadors of peace and beacons of hope to the world—you know, living out the American ideals of democracy, tolerance and freedom? No, we were called upon to . . . shop.
Yeah, that was an effective way to heal spiritual wounds and honor the dead—get all materialistic. Worked like a charm, didn’t it? Because now, as we approach the 10th anniversary of September 11, our country is a happy, peaceful, fulfilled place, and most of the world wants to be like us. (Insert irony emoticon here.)
Lawyers, Desperate To Numb Out
It amazes me how deeply embedded that response—pursuing solace through materialism—is embedded in our culture. After 10 years, it still hasn’t worked: We are a people in agony Continue reading