Tuesday, September 11, 2018

It looks just like THAT Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018. 
Out the window, it looks just like THAT Tuesday, seventeen years ago, a beautiful late summer day in northeastern Illinois, 728 miles from Ground Zero. 
Some say the world changed forever that day. For thousands of families, it did. By broader measures, I think it is about the same. Yes, many of us became suddenly more aware of the power of hatred combined with wealth, focused on an unprepared target. But the evil we saw that day remains at work in the world. It is still out there and it is still in here, right here, fighting for our souls every day.
On September 11, 2001 we experienced a massive and extreme example of "us and them" thinking. I doubt that anyone reading this identifies with the depth of hatred and anger that led to the events of that day, but we are ALL subject to "us and them" thinking. Read what people post here. It won't take long to find who is their "us". It's natural and convenient to identify ourselves by our groups. But when we identify any other person by their group, we start to devalue them as people. We become more able to make them a target.
I am a member of many groups. You and I are in some of the same groups - gender, race, religion, nationality, first language, family history, education level, political philosophy, and so on. We have some of those groups in common. In some groups however, you are in and I am out. In others, I am in and you are out.
We can focus on our groups - the ways that we are in and others are out. But there is a better way. Not forgetting who we are or what makes us unique, let us see each other first as individuals, as neighbors, as members of the greatest "in group" to which we all belong - the group of all souls in which all are valuable beyond measure and lovable. If we orient our hearts this way, and make our first impulse to love each other, our neighbors, and even our enemies, then the world will have changed forever.

An earlier version of this post first appeared on Facebook on September 11, 2018.

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