A Page Marked in the World’s Story—Lessons from 9/11

In memory of 9/11, I want to share a piece by an anonymous author which remarks on the little things in life which help to shape our stories. Be thankful today more than ever for these things:

Lessons from 9/11: The ‘little’ Things

As you might know, the head of a major company survived the tragedy of “9/11” in New York because his son started kindergarten.

Another fellow was alive because it was his turn to bring donuts.

One woman was late because her alarm clock didn’t go off in time.

One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident.

One of them missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change.

One’s car wouldn’t start

One went back to answer the telephone.

One had a child that dawdled and didn’t get ready as soon as he should have.

One couldn’t get a taxi.

The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning, took the various means to get to work but before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid. That is why he is alive today.

Now when I am stuck in traffic…

miss an elevator…

turn back to answer a ringing telephone…

all the little things that annoy me…

I think to myself…

this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment.

The next time your morning seems to be going wrong, the children are slow getting dressed, you can’t seem to find the car keys, you hit every traffic light…don’t get mad or frustrated. God is at work watching over you.

May God continue to bless you with all those little annoying things–and may you remember and appreciate their possible purpose.

(Author Unknown)

For all those we lost, their families, friends, coworkers, dogs, neighbors, acquaintances…you are all in our thoughts today. May you find some peace knowing that there are thousands of people around you with stories of their own, who are here to support you. Today, more than ever, it is crucial to see the connection we all have to one another: offer compliments frequently, share smiles more often, and live your life because far too many people were robbed of that chance eleven years ago today. Also, be kind. The old woman you get stuck behind on the way to the grocery store may be missing that hand that used to hold her up and lead her down the crowded streets. Sure, she may be walking slowly, but will it really make a difference if you get into the deli line three minutes later than you had planned? She didn’t plan to lose her husband on this day eleven years ago. Offer her a hand with her bag or send a warm smile her way. She needs all the comforting she can get today. Is there a teenage boy kicking rocks onto the street in your neighborhood? Please don’t scold him. His mind is somewhere else. Maybe he is reminiscing about the first time he swung and hit a baseball off the plastic tee in his driveway and his dad lifted him off the ground in pure joy as if he had just won the World Series. Or, he could be wondering what it would be like to have a father to talk to about how to get up the nerve to ask the girl he likes to the next school dance. Either way, today is one rough day for him. They are just rocks. If they scrape your car, it is only a car. Let him be. Today is not the day to be a hall monitor.

Regardless of whether or not you lost someone close to you during the attacks of 9/11, this day stained its red ink all over not only our country’s, but our world’s story and therefore it can and should never be forgotten. It is a constant reminder of how much we are all connected and how important it is to join together in the fight to prevent the world’s story from ending in despair. It will not be a tragedy. We are all capable of compassion, generosity, kindness, gratitude. We all have strength, courage and perseverance in our veins. If you can’t find these qualities in yourself, look to those around you to help you. But, they all lie somewhere inside each and every one of us. The world is a beautiful place. Life is a precious gift. Treat it that way.

Always Remember 9/11.

The Stories Are All One

Media surrounds us like a storm. A whirlwind of stories fly by us with each passing moment. The headline on our internet browser tells about a presidential candidate’s muck up that may cost him the election. Our television blasts news of another celebrity cheating scandal. But, what about the other stories? The ones about the feats of small-town heroes, the perseverance and inspiring wisdom of those struggling with debilitating diseases in hospital beds, or the simple acts of kindness  that are far too often overlooked and undervalued in today’s media. These are the stories worth hearing.

The stories that swallow the media and surround us like a tornado, those are the gusts. They are thrust at us with such force that we aren’t given time to think about them and instead, just accept them for what they are. They may knock us off our feet in shock one moment, but two days down the road we will most likely have forgotten about them. But, the stories that receive little or no attention in the media, those are the breezes. A breeze is different from a gust in that it slowly touches us, makes us think. A breeze is a funny thing. It has the ability to brush by our face and send chills down our spine. Much more so than a gust.

 The purpose of the all1story blog is to extract the breezes so that they may open our minds and ignite our souls. It is important to think about the other things going on in the world outside our own personal bubbles and outside the news that is handed to us daily. The hidden stories. Those are often the ones that end up having the most impact on us. We can gain so much perspective by learning from those around us. All of our stories are connected. Your story; the story of the family that just moved in next door; the story of the little girl who spends her days hooked up to tubes in a hospital bed; the story of the old man who risked his life to save a stranger; the stories of those you interact with on a daily basis; the stories of those you pass on the street every day but may never actually meet. Your story is theirs. Theirs is yours. We are constant page-turners in each other’s lives.

It is my hope that reading about stories which are often neglected in the mainstream media outlets will allow us to see the affect which others have on us and use this new perspective to realize just how much the smallest actions can have a positive impact on others. Smile to a stranger on the commute to work. That smile may just be the thing that gets them through the day. Spend some time reading to inner-city children. That night may be the night their guardian comes home twelve drinks under and starts beating them. Perhaps the superhero story you read to them a few hours earlier is replaying in their head as they imagine themselves soaring through the air with golden wings instead of falling prey to the grips of the demons in their household. Donate a few dollars to help build a school in Africa. Though it may not seem like a lot, sacrificing your daily Caramel Macchiato may be the thing that allows one more fragile mind to flourish.

 Let’s face it, the world’s story isn’t a fairy tale. Never will be. But, by realizing our part in the page turning, we can help prevent it from becoming an epic tragedy.