Sometimes Life interrupts our daily routine, the way year after year we are kept running on autopilot. Sometimes Life rattles us with shockwaves to force us into a different state of awareness. Sometimes Life introduces us to unspeakable death, challenging us to turn a marginalized existence into a meaningful one. Rarely does a defining time happen–maybe only once in a generation.
What now after the “world changing” events of 9/11? That day saw horrific tragedy. Yet, there could be a far, far worse tragedy to come, following on its heels. We should really be afraid of letting this awful loss come to naught. If nothing of any depth happens in the aftermath–beyond the songs and the flags, the tears and the prayers, and the slogans and the moments of silence– then we, indeed, have much to fear.
To rebuild the buildings of a city pales in scale compared to that of redirecting our lives in selfless dedication. There can be no greater memorial to those who lost their lives than for us to change ours. Charity can be an easy kind of love and get us off the track. In tracing the footsteps of all the firefighters, police, and other heroes, you come face to face with the hard love based on a commitment to place others’ lives ahead of one’s own.
At this critical time it is imperative that we realize that any other way of life cruelly shortchanges us. Truly, life-giving love is the path–the only path–worth taking.
Jules Dervaes September 2001