I can remember walking into the hotel dining area, looking over at the TV and thinking, "Here we go! Some Hollywood type has created one of those movies that I despise, destroying one of our own landmark buildings. What idiots these movie makers are!" But in looking around at the other people sitting at the tables, the expressions on their faces, I took a closer look and this was a NEWS station. My parents and I sat at a table and watched in horror.
Those of us in this generation will always remember where we were that day, just like others will always remember where they were when JFK was shot. Ten years later, I have to wonder, are we still focusing on the things we did in the days that followed September 11, 2011: being more loving to our family and friends, having empathy for our neighbors, giving generously to those that we do not even know?
In ten years, a lot can happen. Much has changed in my life since that day and I'm ashamed to say, but that day probably didn't affect me as much as maybe it should have. It was really a blessing that I didn't have any real personal connection, although at that point in my life I worked in recruiting at Harvard and worked with a few companies in those towers. When I returned back to work I learned that my co-worker was actually on the phone with someone in the towers when the phone lines just went dead. I can't imagine how that would have affected me.
But I think, as awful as those images are and as horrific as those stories of loss are, from time to time we ought to recall these images and stories the media has been showing the past few days, not just to honor those lost that day, but to remind us how precious life is, how quickly things can change, and that there are times where we have no control.
Take time this day to pray for those families and friends affected by the events that September morning. Take time to reflect on that day and allow yourself to be affected again by the tragedy on our soil ten years ago.
Be more loving to family and friends - treat them with gentleness, kindness and mercy. Be attentive and affectionate, truly listen to them.
Have empathy for our neighbors - speak the truth with kindness and love. Listen to them, cry with them, cheer them on in their victories.
Give generously to those we do not even know - be generous with our gifts and if financial resources are scarce, consider volunteering, donating blood. It doesn't have to be dollars and cents generosity.
Because life is precious - make sure all our loved ones know how precious they are.
Because things can change so quickly - be sure to always say I love you and give friends and family a kiss every time greeting them and departing from them. Do not let time go by holding a grudge that in the scheme of things isn't important at all.
Because there are times where we have no control - let go and let God.
It's all about faith, hope and love.