I remember 9/11/2001. It was a week after our neighbor died in a tractor accident. It was the day that I took my twin daughters for their first day of pre-school. I remember sitting down at the computer and looking at the aol screen in disbelief wondering how in the heck two planes managed to hit the twin towers. And then it became clear.
And nothing has been the same.
I remember standing in between my kids' (all five of them) beds and feeling such a finality of life. It was as if I had given up on my hopes and dreams for the future. I remember that my oldest son asked about going to church. He had just started high school at the time and we hadn't been attending church for a while. I remember feeling totally and utterly helpless.
I remember - and still hear - all the country songs that were spawned by the events of 9/11 and how so many artists protested because they felt these songs made American look like hicks. I don't agree with that at all.
I do feel that generalizing categories of people is harmful. But it is kind of like protecting my family: I'm not taking any chances. In an ideal world, we would all play nice and we would all get along. I would be the very first to sign up for a world like that. I think it is the kind of world that was meant to be. But realistically, that is not the kind of world in which we live. I will protect my family from anyone. No matter their background, race, hairstyle, football team orientation.......I will protect my family from anyone.
9/11 (after time has passed and I've been able to reflect) has not been a benchmark as to when I decided to fear. Rather it has benchmarked the time at which I've decide who/what/where is important to me. I have decided not to worry about the little stuff and to try a little harder to fix the bigger things for which I have some control.
Although I always have, I've taken a more active role in matters regarding my country, my state, my county, and my school district. I appreciate a little - actually a LOT more - the little things in life.
I think that anything less would be a great disservice to those who have given so much.