Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thoughts on the Eve of September 11th

Tomorrow is September 11th and many people will be posting recollections and looking at the resolutions that they made when the Twin Towers were attacked and fell. Without a doubt the terrorist actions of that day have had ripples that affect every US resident today. But as I look around the world at large, I wonder if anything has actually been accomplished over the intervening years in the journey towards human understanding and communication.

Life is a journey.

I'm probably just as guilty as anyone else. I haven't stretched my hands out with the specific goal of aiding and assisting in multicultural understanding across religious boundaries. But I'm pagan - I am not a believer or follower of any organized religious belief. I haven't noticed anyone in established religions putting their hands out towards those of us who exist on the fringes of the "established" religions. So I'll table that prospect and move on to another.

The Pagan annual cycle is commonly associated with a variety of
nontraditional belief systems. 

The US took up arms and attempted to assist several nations and governments achieve political changes to allow them greater freedoms. I think it was also our hope, expressed or not, that they would be less radical and more conciliatory and understanding of differing religious beliefs. That has been a mixed bag of success and failure. We are pulling out of Iraq with a semi-qualified success, but Afghanistan seems to be starting to rubber band back to its old value, beliefs, and restrictive laws and regulations. Have we accomplished anything except the loss of life of a group of very brave and dedicated US and international soldiers and peacekeepers? I have my doubts. I suspect when we look over our accomplishments in the first score of years in the 21st century, we will see a season of great plans and high expectations, ending with disillusionment, chaos and spinning wheels.

Honor the fallen. 

I have grown in my personal life. I've explored more facets of my art, I've solidified my marriage, I've fine tuned my love of writing into an activity that I do daily, and I've reached out when I could to others. But I know that I have looked at causes asking for my help and made my decision to push my energies into the fight for LGBT rights in the US and abroad, not really concentrating on the political and religious battles being fought abroad. I admit to having a narrowed vision but I do feel happy with the progress within the causes I have embraced.

Gay rights are Human rights - worldwide.

My DH and I have become the older generation - the elders within our family. Joining with my cousins and my sister-in-law, we are now the ones that the younger generation looks toward for advice and counseling. It is a bit frightening. I don't feel as if I am any great store of wisdom - my actions as I have grown have been as foolish as many other's choices have proven to be. I've said things I've regretted, done things without adequate thought, and hurt people that I've loved. I guess that makes me human.

Elders educate the new generations. How will what you teach the young
influence their future world?

So has anything really been accomplished since September 11, 2001? I can't comment about world-wide accomplishments, but I urge you to take a look at your own life and look at how it has progressed over the past twelve years. If you see a need to change or want to embrace a cause, if you see a need to reach out or to smooth the way for someone else, do it. Make it happen. Don't wait for another dozen years to pass when a small step you make now could make a huge difference in someone's life and echo through the next decades to come. Allow yourself the freedom to impact the future with a single handshake, a single letter, or a single afternoon spent helping to make our world a better place.

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