So here I sit this fine September 12, 2012, evening. I am reflecting on all the horrible news that has hit our airwaves over the last eleven years.
The civil wars.
The oppressive nature of clashing societal beliefs and standards.
Hostages having their heads sawn off with field knives.
Bombings of embassies.
The outright thievery of corporations from their workers.
The millions of dead from the outcomes of our wars.
Even the dastardly speculating on everyday commodities that is making harder to afford food.
Honestly, I cannot differentiate the deaths of September 11th, 2001, from the rest of the tragedies in this world. I've tuned in to the tragedy and aggression channel since that harrowing day, and when this date rolls around, the Pentagon, the lonely field in Pennsylvania, and the Twin Towers are not the first images that flash into my mind.
I really feel that the 11th of September is a day of reflection like many treat it, but I think they only focus on the one tree in the forest. When you step back from the emotional grave marker in your mind that sits in front of this tree and start to look at all the other markers by other trees in this metaphorical wilderness, it brings perspective and sobering truths about man and society.
This day that everyone is giving a moment of silence to, in my life, brings guilt into my very being. Physically, I can feel this guilt creep in to my mind when I read about a Pakistani garment factory burning to the ground. Why would I feel guilty for that? Because my heart has hardened and I don't want to send them money to develop safe conditions in the workplace, even though this industry accounts for nearly 20% of their country's economical pie. I don't trust how our money would be allocated or used for the common good.
This is a day that as many look down at their shoes in respectful recognition of the lives rocked for generations by a religious assault, I recognize how much of this religion is still assaulting us, and that our society instigates these conflicts on a daily basis. We insist on conflict in our society. We have brought children into this world during a time of crisis, and they don't know any other way of life than perpetual crisis. You can see examples of this in reality television. It isn't about the reality of a job, it's about insults, fights and disrespect.
This is the day that I can almost hear and feel the intense percussion of mortars crashing into an apartment next door, that Palestinian children are hiding under their mothers' robes from. I feel guilty knowing I helped pay for the rocket that is destroying their street they were planning to play stick ball on later that night.
This is the day I remember that we are not the only ones who have suffered tragedy, and that many still are suffering dire circumstances beyond their control. This is the day that I wake up after being kept in a sedated political haze for 364 days prior. And on this day, I am angry, sad, feeling hopelessly out of control and out of touch, and I immerse myself in all the pain and acknowledge my contribution to the problem.
As a people, on the face of this rock in space, we all need to wake up and understand the role we play. There are never situations so big that there is not a single way we are not related to it somehow. It is impossible to not affect one another, even indirectly, because we are all part of the same race, sharing the same playground together. Taking responsibility for whatever we can, while we can, will make a difference in generations to come. I do not want my future relatives to stay on this path of alienating denial.
Take a dip in the dark pools of reality every year on September 11th, and open yourself to comprehension of the world around you.