Reflections

Today, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, is a day filled with reflection and remembrance and mourning. And this is so appropriate. And yet I find myself struggling with how I want to recognize this day, personally and with my family and publicly (like here, in my blog). I have made a conscious choice to not turn on the television. I have watched only two online videos related to the commemoration: one replaying “highlights” of the events of that day and one of a song being sung at the New York memorial today.

Roses at the 9/11 Memorial

Beyond that, I am choosing an attitude of reflection. Rather than dwelling in the past, I look to the lessons that can be learned and how we can live in a way that will somehow make some sense of those tragedies. Because, even in this case, I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe that reason was so that we would have a reason to go to war in the Middle East. In my opinion, retaliation does not solve anything. Truly, though, all I can do is find the lesson in this for myself and make my life mean something as a result.

Om Mani Padme Hum

This is a tattoo that I had done on my back on the last day of 2009. The meaning of the Buddhist mantra is not easy to convey in a few words, but the basic idea is that the recitation or viewing of the mantra will invoke the embodiment of compassion. And this is the lesson that I choose to learn… in all of my life, really. We can only accept people as they are and be compassionate for their position in the world. Yes, there are many who live their lives devoted to hatred and destruction. The roots of this hatred is deep rooted… and coming to some sort of understanding of that can lead us to compassion, even for those that cause such sadness.

Have I lost a loved one as a result of a terrorist act? No, I haven’t. Do I have a right to speak for how one should feel in such a situation? I probably don’t. But I do, in the need to find my own sense of understanding, have a right to my own feelings. And they are these: only compassion can bring this world to a place where there will be no more war, no more hatred, no more destruction. Without it, we not only hurt others, but we hurt ourselves.

“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sara (@mercurialnature)
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 16:29:50

    We each make a choice…how will we respond, how will we act, what do we feel. You couldn’t be more right…only compassion will lead us to acceptance for ourselves and for others.

    Reply

  2. tardispunkie
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 17:15:17

    Well written as always.

    Reply

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