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A Pandemic of Decency
I do miss how united we were.
How in that moment, we felt bound together under a single identity. People from rural areas didn’t think twice about coming to the aid of their urban cousins even though the lifestyles between the two could not be any more different. We pushed our differences aside and as a nation, the worst brought out our best.
By no means am I looking back fondly. I have friends and family directly impacted as my roots are New York based. I still recall the horror of watching with disbelief what was unfolding that morning and can reflect on it with uncanny clarity.
But to see where we are 20 years later… to know that those who want to see the U.S. fail, simply have to stir the pot on social media to accelerate our divisions, knowing that like Rome, we’re more likely to implode from within decades before any external invasion is needed…
It breaks my heart how 20 years later after being so unified—we are at each other’s throats. It tarnishes the selfless sacrifice made by so many.
Yes, never forget. But we must also ask WHY?
The way we behave toward each other daily honors (or dishonors) those who fell, just as much as taking a day to honor their memory. And not just the victims but all who have served and sacrificed these past 20 years.
The best way we can honor sacrifice is to live in an honorable way. But sadly, we are so entrenched in our own sub-belief systems—we can’t figure out how to find common ground anymore.
I hope one day, and for the sake of future generations, we can find our way back to a less divided, conflicted, agitated, and unruly society. The past couple of years I fear, have brought out some of the worst in us. Just look to the behavior we are seeing in the air travel industry as a single example—it’s not isolated. We’re in a perpetual state of contempt for our fellow citizens.
This is not what the sacrifice was for. We must find a way out of seeing ourselves as our own worst enemy. We have to do better to live in a way that helps the greater societal cause and looks beyond self or “people like me” as the only ones we care about.
If disinformation and incivility is contagious, then so too is civility and information and compassion. We have to start with ourselves and slowly spread a pandemic of decency.
That would honor the memory.