If you are an American September 11th brings back a lot of memories of seeing 2 landmarks of American culture fall to the ground in an amazing act of violence. For all American's and anyone else touched by those events thoughts and emotions are evoked every time it is brought up.
For me many things come up. After reading some of the word said yesterday during 5th anniversary events I had many things to think about. And here is one thought I had. ...
Think about the people who are most important to you. Your wife, your husband, your parents and your children. More people, such as friends and your extended family can most certainly be included here. Now imagine one or more of them died in some tragic event. How would you feel? You would have to deal with the loss of your loved ones.
In dealing with grief we go through 5 stages. Those five stages, in order, are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Now back to your loved ones dieing, first you have to go through denial that it even happened or that your loved one died from it. But you are a logical person and when something so horrific happens even your hope gives way quickly. You soon pass on to the next stage, anger.
In anger you are mad at everyone you see responsible for the tragic event occurring. Your government, who is suppose to protect you. Yourself, for letting them go that day. And whomever others are saying are to blame. Let's hold on to that anger for a bit before we get to bargaining.
Before you get to bargaining though, where you try to make deals with whomever you think can assuage your pain you find out more information. You find out from sources you trust who the ones responsible for this terrible act that killed your loved ones are. You find out that the people responsible did this because they said your country's government did the same type of damage to them. Your anger, that you still hold on to because the pain is so great, gets a little more fuel. You didn't do anything! Your loved ones didn't do anything! Why did they have to pay the price for something my country's government did. I don't even believe my country would do such a thing.
You are close to bargaining here. Trying to make deals with your god so you can make sense of it all. Then you learn more about these evil monsters who could do such a thing to innocent people. Information comes out that your country had nothing to do with what happened to these evil monsters. Just as you suspected.
Then a voice of reason is heard. Someone, who believes what you are starting to believe about these monsters. This person starts calling you to action. We need to do something about these monsters before they destroy more of our lives. You listen a little, but like I said, you are a logical person who and you don't do anything. You don't like the idea of killing people.
You don't want to get involved in a war against anyone but now your glasses are covered with a new filter. A new filter that looks upon some group of people as evil monsters. And you start to see and hear more proof. You start to see startling images of people they have taken prisoner. How can they be so cold? Your answer be cause they are monsters not humans. All of the sudden you are listening to that voice of reason. You are listening to the person who tells you to do your part. Take up arms if you can. Do whatever you can to defeat these monsters or else these atrocities will never cease.
Now imagine for a bit that you are not an American but an Iraqi, Pakistani or any middle eastern inhabitant for that matter. All of the sudden stuff starts blowing up and innocent people, including your loved ones, are getting killed. Hold on, I said pretend you are not an American. You don't get to tell yourself that is the price of war. You are someone else who is not in a war. All you are trying to do is survive, go to work or school, and support your family. Imagine then that the reasons they did this is because someone blew up 2 of their buildings ( yes more were destroyed and/or damaged but you aren't an American and the Pentagon is not an important symbol to you and neither is WTC building 7 ). Later you find out that they are mistreating their prisoners of war. You start questioning who the criminals are here. Then, you find out that these attacks had nothing to do with those buildings. Your anger would be boiling and you may not have any problems fighting back any longer.
In conclusion, we need to remember that people act violently for many reasons. We don't want to give people more reasons to be violent, we want to give them reasons not to. If we truly consider ourselves to be better, which makes little sense in the global scheme of thing, then we need to take the high moral ground. I have a short thought to finish on. More people die each year from car accidents than terrorism. More people die each year from cancer than terrorism. In fact, more people die each year from their appendix bursting than terrorism! Yet our focus is on terrorism because of the images that hold on to us. Let's handle our grief and move all the way to acceptance so we can make some rational decision about the matters at hand.