Tag Archive: 9-11


How to defeat terrorism

Today, instead of rage, I will embrace compassion.

Compassion is the polar opposite of what they wanted us to feel. They expected that we would be enraged, and respond in kind, striking back with brutality as they struck us. But they don’t get to have their way–not from me, anyway.

So today, instead of tearing down, I am going to build something.

Instead of feeling fear, I am going to do something fun.

Instead of feeling grief, I am going to rejoice in love.

And that is how I defeat terrorists.

9-11-survivor-tree

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(reprinted from 9/11/2013)

The 9/11 Survivor Tree, at the 9/11 Memorial on Littlefield Grid.

9-11-survivor-tree

A callery pear tree became known as the “Survivor Tree” after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center. In October 2001, the tree was discovered at Ground Zero severely damaged, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present. Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival and rebirth.

Our reproduction of the Survivor Tree was modeled on the original, by Ada Wong, who has beautifully captured the difference in the old and new growth, and even the saw marks where the damaged limbs were removed.

Video: A Story of Survival

Remembrance

I hate this day.

Twelve years later, how should we continue to observe this tragic day? I will share my own personal opinion, noting that it is mine, applies to me only, and everyone else’s opinion is up to them.

What I hate about this day is the extent to which we allow ourselves to be frozen in grief, or in anger. Both emotions are honorable, appropriate, and good. But if we aren’t mindful, they can define us. Then, every year on this day, we find ourselves observing the occasion by striking out in rage against whoever it is we blame.

To me, that awards a victory to the terrorists.

I’ve never understood how killing someone is supposed to prove that one is better, or stronger. To me it only proves that one is more brutal.

For me… and I emphasize, for ME… the best way to honor this day is to be as unlike those terrorists as I possibly can be. To choose to act in the way that is as different as possible from what they hoped to achieve.

Today, instead of rage, I will embrace compassion. Compassion is the polar opposite of what they wanted us to feel. They expected that we would be enraged, and respond in kind, striking back with brutality as they struck us. But they don’t get to have their way–not from me, anyway.

I have no control over what governments do. I can only control what I do.

So today, instead of tearing down, I am going to build something.

Instead of feeling fear, I am going to do something fun.

Instead of feeling grief, I am going to rejoice in love.

And that is how I defeat terrorists.

Littlefield Grid members observing the day together at the 9-11 Memorial

Littlefield Grid members observing the day together at the 9-11 Memorial

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