I was going about my normally activities in opening the office for another busy day’s work. I made sure all the systems were up and running, the back-up tape was removed and recorded from the previous day, printed prior day trading and compliance reports to review and approve, gathered trade tickets and began reviewing the ticker file for the day.
That’s when Joe came into the office and asked if I had heard about a plane crash. All the brokers had televisions in their offices but we did not have any in the common area or administrative work stations so I was oblivious to what he was telling me.
We walked into his office and turned on the tv as the reporter was reiterating the story of a plane crashing into the tower. We then saw the second plane hit. Joe and I looked at each other and asked if that was a replay or did that just happen.
It did just happen.
And there I was leaning on Joe’s desk watching a tiny television as the world changed.
September 11, 2001
It is not only that moment that I remember so clearly, but the subsequent days and weeks that followed. I worked in the financial industry so the enormity of the market closing, calming clients and proceeding with business as best we could as we struggled internally with our personal emotions and feelings.
Watching the amazing acts of bravery, the numerous stories of tragedy and the most frustrating of all – not being able to really answer the question of “why” to my young son. I could have given him a political answer, I could have given him a religious answer or even a philosophical answer. But none of these seemed adequate and enough to help a 9 year old understand the enormity of what happened. There was no right answer and I did not want to give any answer that opened the door for hatred.
In one day the door was opened for a city, a county a world to fill with hatred based on those actions. Instead I saw compassion, heroics, forgiveness and man helping fellow man with no regard for his own safety, concern or possible selfish benefit.
I saw neighborhoods decorated with the American flag, I saw others line up to give blood, emergency materials and their own time to help the injured, missing and emotionally lost.
It is hard for me to comprehend that it has been ten years since that fateful day. Today I see less flags, less compassion and more bitterness, mistrust and blame. The good is still there but it seems that unfortunately there was a delay in some walking through the door that was opened that day.
In this day of memory let us also not forget how we came together in a selfless manner as man helping fellow man. Let us remember how it is to reach our hand out to the injured, missing and emotionally lost from every day life. Let us decorate our lives with pride for being a small part of a larger community. Americans.
Those that are strong, proud and resourceful. Those that are able to transform our nation in a matter of moments from devastation to an undeniable force able to prevail and heal. To give thanks that we woke up today and have the opportunity to voice our opinion in free speech, in a free country fueled by our own free will.
We are a collection of free will – we make our own choices, proceed with our own actions to create our own opportunities and destinies. As a combined free will what amazing things we accomplished ten years ago in helping a nation heal and move forward. It all started with the individual free will of one, then another then a combined nation.
What will you choose to do today? What will you be grateful for? What causes you pain and what are you going to do about it?
You see, that is what we did as a nation ten years ago. We were wounded, devastated and knocked down – we had pain. We could have accepted the beating and continued our lives limping along. But we didn’t. We chose to make a change, we chose to take action and we chose to move forward.
If an entire nation can do this in an amazing, collaborative effort how can we as individuals possibly look at our misfortunes of the day and not possibly understand the power that we hold to make a change?
If you don’t like where you are then get off your butt and make a change. We do not need a catalyst to make a change – we just need to make a choice.
Earlier I was feeling sad and – to be honest – a bit of self-pity about a certain circumstance. Poor me, something isn’t like I want it, woe is me, it isn’t what I want it to be…blah, blah, blah.
But then I realized the day and scolded myself. Just who the hell did I think I was feeling so sorry for myself? I have so much in my life to be grateful for and here I was focusing on this one thing – seriously – get some perspective!
I was not a nation crippled, I am an individual who has free will to make a choice to make a change. Was I asking for a catastrophic event in order to spur me to make a change? How selfish of me and disrespectful for those that continue to endure the effects of that day.
So instead of feeling pity or asking myself what I was willing to do – I got off my but and did what I needed to do. If a nation of strangers can ban together to do what needs to be done I think it pretty obvious that as an individual I can at least do the same.
I will stop feeling sorry for myself, I will give thanks for the people in my life, I will be grateful for the opportunities before me, I will practice faith by believing in myself, I will demonstrate resilience by taking action and I will encourage peace by giving forgiveness.
What will you do today?
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.