Category Archives: justice

What I Will Always Remember on 9/11

I can’t seem to answer the most fundamental question about remembering 9/11. Exactly what are we expected to remember?

If it is the terror act and deaths, are we to always remember every act of terror in the US? Or only this one? Are we to forget Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombings that killed 168 people? Or the Aurora movie theatre shooting that killed 12 and wounded 70? Or the Fort Hood massacre that left 13 dead? The Virginia Tech massacre that left 33 dead? Columbine High School where 15 died? And all the others.  Are these numbers too small?

Should we forget the innocent victims of madmen with guns? The families killed and torn apart? The single deaths by acts of terror? If we are to always remember the deaths of 9/11, which deaths are we to forget?

Perhaps we are asked to remember the vastness and egregiousness of the terrorism perpetuated on 9/11. But if that is so, I can’t stop at the horrific acts of 9/11. Wars, a constant on our planet, are conglomerations of acts of terror writ large. Death by starvation in a world that can feed us all is a massive form of terror that knows no end.

If we look beyond our borders, can we ignore that every day some 21,000 people – about 18,000 of whom are children – die of hunger? Even though they are not slamming into our buildings, that’s the equivalent of about 100 deadly jet plane crashes each day. *

The number of people who died in the 9/11 terror attack was shocking for our nation. Watching the Twin Towers collapse, a collectively indelible moment in our history. That NYC and Washington DC were targeted on a grand scale was the iconic moment of a generation. Still, am unable to resolve the refrain of always remember, never forgive, never forget.

When I remember 9/11, I grieve for all who died —  but no more and no less than for the senseless, tragic deaths of others I have not met and did not know. And that was only augmented by our response with acts of war and the senseless deaths we as a nation caused and incurred in a reaction that can hardly be justified by collective grief.

We know violence begets violence and terror is a constant threat. So in my memories, I choose to cross borders and grieve for all senseless deaths. I choose to remember that we as a species are diminished by every one of these deaths, but that humans are overwhelmingly good. I choose to remember and stand shoulder to shoulder with those who do not abide evil. Above all, I choose to remember that spirals of destruction are brought down by the essential qualities of our collective humanity — redemption and compassion.

*This is so disturbing. On this page you see the faces of the hundreds who die of hunger in the hour you are watching.

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FFB not BFF

That would be Friggen Facebook, not Best Friends Forever.

But I agree with the bazillion fb users out there, of which I am a mere 1, that there ARE a lot of good uses for fb. Case in point: Amazing  true story of Jacob Boehm, 22-year old Stanford music student who wandered off while traveling alone in Malaysia. Family & friends panicked when they lost all contact for six days. His parents in California created a fb page asking if anybody had seen him. Within 24 hours he was found on a remote jungle hike where there was no cell phone reception. If you were to map what happened, the connections criss-crossed the globe as fast as only cyberspace can carry. The Borg side of fb!

NOT included in good uses is the amount of time I waste cruising through fb stuff. I know I’m not alone, but OK, that’s personal time-wasting choice. What tops my list of WTH?Why-didn’t-you-use-your-brain-before-posting? are the unintended consequences of re-posting.

First I’ll say it’s already a peeve of mine when otherwise really nice people ask me to ‘post this as your status.’ What if I don’t want to re-post it — for reasons legit or other? At a minimum I am not a nice person. More likely I obviously don’t give a shit about kids with cancer, the environment, or the latest tragedy somewhere. Likely I should rot in hell for my unadulterated shortsighted selfish behavior. Do I judge too harshly? Perhaps a tad.

But consider this, if I like apost  and want to re-post it I will — all on my own. Maybe it reminds me of the chain e-letters and their antecedents via snail mail that openly threaten life, limb and one’s first born. But fb is more insidious. It carries behind it the weight of unspoken but public humiliation. Seriously, what kind of person ARE YOU???

Anyway, that’s not what tops my list either. It’s this.

Let’s say you happen to be an ecologist, democrat, foreigner, or welfare recipient. Someone posts something so odious, so utterly heinous, so downright stupid, selfish or mean-spirited that your ‘oh no you don’t’ juices start cascading in waterfalls. Sooooo you re-post it to let loose your wrath, intelligent counter-position or righteous outrage. Fine — except for the unintended consequence.  If it’s an outrage for you it’s likely to be contraversial enough that some folks, bless their evil little hearts, will feel just as strongly for as you do against.

Re-posting it will make their day. Effectively this is giving plenty o’ free advertising to a position you never even wanted to know existed. Usually with a picture included to be even more attention-getting. This might even help it go viral when all you really wanted to do was squeeze its greedy little neck and drown it somewhere it wouldn’t be found for thousands of years.

So what to do with that righteous anger? Honest, there is a better way. Educate the world — even via FFB — about your position. Get up on that cyber stage and grandstand your beliefs. Forget the anti’s. Put out your for’s. Ignore the con’s. Explain the pro’s.

Who knows? Maybe someone will get angry enough to re-post it.

 

 

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