Tragedy - September 11, 2001 ~
Recent Example of Surviving Tragedy - September
No other recent event, except the surprise attack
on Pearl Harbor has numbed, shocked, horrified, angered, enraged, and unified
most of a nation, as have the events of September 11th. This incident will
leave an lasting imprint on our personal and national psyche. Images of
terror and inspiring stories of courage have been indelibly etched into
our memories. This tragedy will reshape how we think about ourselves, our
community, our country and our world. To paraphrase Stephen Levine, in
order to heal from this grief we are being forced to a depth of our emotions
that is usually below the threshold of our awareness.
Many have used the event to reassess and reevaluate
priorities and goals. They are seeing this period as one of self reflection,
a time to count blessings, to be with and appreciate loved ones, to be
kinder to each other, to reach out to those in need, and to honor the strength
of the human spirit in the face of adversity. This tragedy has taught us
that life is very short and very precious.
These events have sensitized people around the
world by witnessing a common loss and made it possible for them to relate
by experiencing a common grief response. We can be hopeful that after living
through these events people may now be more aware of the suffering of others
and no longer turn their backs on those who are grieving.
Dr. Robert Schuller sums this up:
Our grief always
brings a gift.
It's the gift of greater
sensitivity and compassion for others.
We learn to rise above
our own grief by reaching out
and lessening the grief
This tragedy has helped to inform and educate
both the public and professionals about loss, what is considered to be
a "normal" grief response, and what is an "abnormal" response that requires
further help. People now understand more about loss and the grief response
and may be able to better cope with future losses. Ultimately this education
helps in "normalizing" the grief response and enhances the recovering and
In the absence of wake-up
many of us never really
confront the critical issues of life.
Those who have survived this tragedy have
received a "Wake-Up" call and have been given the opportunity to reassess
and re-evaluate our lives. Life is very different in the aftermath
of these events.
The Unity Ribbon was created by
Rowan in response to the September 11th Tragedy to be a symbol that could
draw people back together and help unite not only the United States, but
also the world. Ribbon available at: http://www.theunityribbon.org
There are some
improvements in our national character that have come about because of
this tragedy. We're a softer people, we're a more deeply sober people.
I think we realize now our vulnerabilities in a way that make us appreciate
the fragility of life, that make us kinder to each other...I think that
when you suffer, you're more sensitive to the suffering of others.
See the Emergency
911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless,
hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.
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