Culture

Recognizing today’s pain & seeing small things to be grateful for in the coming week

I still remember vividly where I was and what time it was when I saw what was occurring in my beloved hometown of New York City. To me it is unbelievable that it has been fifteen years since that day of September 11. As life would have it, I  ended up living a block away from Ground Zero passing it every morning and evening on my way to and from work.  I would look at the ground with sadness every day. I would marvel at the new construction. I wondered where we would all end up.

I recently left New York, but my heart is still there. Today we pray and remember those that died 15 years ago.  Today is also a day to hope that the survivors have good health.  As we mourn, I have to also look ahead and think of what we can be grateful for as we keep forging ahead and making our way through this often times chaotic world. The chaos of that day 15 years ago still reverberates today. Here are a few small things that may bring about a smile in the coming weeks 

Did you know that September 12th is known for being national encouragement day as well as chocolate milkshake day?  It may seem somewhat frivolous, but imagine the smiles on your child’s face as they get a milkshake or the smile and love someone feels as you encourage them in their endeavors. Considering the pain many feel, encouragement is a great antidote.

This week Apple IOs 10 is being released and the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus are being shipped out. Furthermore, Pokémon Go Plus, Nintendo’s wearable accessory, will be available Sept. 16. These games and phones that are constantly used to take selfies and not necessarily connect us to each other, may seem a sad reflection of our daily lives. But these devices still help us connect to each other in new ways.  I am also not sure that these are grand advances or not for our mobile devices, but I do know it means that we continue to move technology forward. My hope is that one day we can use all these technological advances to advance science and medicine overall. In that vein, this week will see “race for the cure” events as we continue to push forth with addressing cancer.

While sadly, so many lost their lives on one day 15 years ago, a lot of people will be celebrating their birthdays next week. According to researchers, September 16 is the most common birthday in the U.S., and that is a beautiful thing to celebrate. The circle of life continues on.

Hispanic Heritage month starts this upcoming week and then ir is quickly followed by German Heritage month. Can I exaggerate for a second and note how cool it will be to see taco and beer trucks on every corner, as well as Cuban sandwiches and pernil? Yum. I can go on and on.  All this to note, that comfort food can help us get through tough times. Allow yourself some good eats.

While we mourn this week we also have reason to celebrate our grand history. Back in 1787, the Constitution was completed and signed by a majority of the delegates attending the constitutional convention in Philadelphia. The constitution still remains a “thing” of beauty. And while we have much progress to be made in terms of race relations, this week back in the early 80s’ Vanessa Williams became the first African-American Miss America. Progress comes from all corners. 

Admittedly, none of these things erase the pain we collectively feel. These are very small things to be grateful for. They may be frivolous, silly and ephemeral.  There are larger, much larger things for which to feel gratitude such as the love of a kid or a parent. The hope is that the small things snowball into changes for the greater good. And while these small things can’t get rid of the pain,  it is ok to still feel that pain. We should. Pain can help us be aware and give us the ability to dig deeper, reflect and  eventually find peace. 

2 replies »

  1. I, too, remember exactly where I was on 9/11, and seeing the second tower fall was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever witnessed. I remember thinking that this would be our generation’s Pearl Harbor. It was a day that no one still alive will ever forget. You’ve memorialized it beautifully and also reminded us that life does, indeed, go on. Thank you and God bless you and your family and loved ones.

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