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Even after all these years I struggle to put into words the feelings I felt watching the Towers fall that fateful September day. Anger, fear, shock, awe, gratitude, wonder, amazement and everything in between coursed through my veins at various moments over the days that followed and still do when I stop to really think about what happened to individuals, communities and our nation (and world) as a whole. At a remembrance program this evening one of the speakers mentioned that he missed the feelings of September 12th. After the biggest shock had settled in (it would never really wear off) there was room for the outpourings of love and faith and hope and humanity that surged immediately after the attacks. Our country is in desperate need of those feelings again and each of us has the choice and opportunity daily to either react and give in to the hatred and negativity that we are constantly bombarded with or take a stand and represent the love, hope, positivity, goodness and more that each of us needs in our lives.
On a similar note, if you haven’t heard about or had a chance to watch the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor, I highly recommend you do so immediately. Fred Rogers was an incredible example of living your beliefs and accepting everyone for who they are. You can’t help but walk out of the movie theater feeling lighter, more hopeful, and eager to share that light and glow with everyone you come in contact with. And that was exactly his point. You don’t need to do anything over the top or miraculous, just be you. And let those around you be them. Love and appreciate each other for our similarities and differences. There’s a great magic in accepting and being accepted and that magic can change the world.
I can’t wait to learn more when I dig into his biography a little later as well. Darn library hold list…I think I’m #126. :/ But if you get a chance check out The Good Neighbor: The Life and Works of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King and let me know how it is!
I’ll leave you with a few quotes by the great man and the challenge to make a difference today, tomorrow wherever you may be.