Got Truth?

I’ve been pondering about writing on this subject, but I decided it was necessary.

On September 11th this year I had the pleasure of being in NYC one of my most favorite places to attend the taping of a very popular TV show.

My feeling was the ticket availability was due to the lack of enthusiasm for venturing into NYC on 9/11, but I don’t think that was the case. It seemed to be business as usual 11 years later.

As we headed out in the wee hours of the morning, I couldn’t help but notice how this day seemed to mirror 11 years ago, as far as the weather was concerned anyway. It was absolutely perfect with clear blue skies, cool air and bright sunshine. No one expected the darkness we all experienced later that morning and I certainly didn’t anticipate what I experienced 11 years later, which was absolutely nothing. No extra kindness, smiles, eye intact  or a word spoken the entire 2-hour ride for that matter.

The Faces of Vulnerability. LIFE

My Facebook, however, was exploding with images reflecting the towers draped in flags, flickering candles with prayers and, of course, the famous shot of the fireman planting the flag on the rubble. It was borderline annoying considering what I was experiencing in the real world.

All of these powerful images were met with the words “Never Forget.” News Flash….we’ve  forgotten something very important. Not the event, that will be embedded in us forever, but the lessons seem to be MIA. What happened to our vulnerability? 

As we were sitting on this bus, without an empty seat, I couldn’t help but notice the silence. It was deafening for god sakes, not a word was spoken.

I couldn’t help but think “If this bus blew up could I depend on this crew of statues to lend a helping hand?” Hey, I don’t walk around in fear of the sky falling, however, I don’t dismiss the possibility to the point of disconnect with the people around me.

Have we forgotten that the target that dreadful day 11 years ago was not the physical structures of these massive buildings, it was the strength they represented?

The real targets were our freedom, tolerance and decency. What happened to a sense of humanity? 

As I sat outside of a cafe waiting for my nephew to eat his 100th meal of the day, I watched a homeless man being passed by an endless sea of people. Did I mention he was an Army veteran, oh and that it was 9/11?

I understand people get tired of  giving up their dough to strangers that might be complete frauds…I get that whole thing. What bothered me was no one even made eye contact, he was invisible. 

Well, call me what you will I had to give him something before I left. He stood up, shook our hands, thanked us, complimented my nephew’s bow tie and explained his recent homelessness. He was legit, alive and very visible and long as you’re willing to open your eyes! 

Have we forgotten that we witnessed the worst of an ideology of fear and hatred, and the best of the American people? What happened to our unity? 

I was the last to enter the bus to return to Philly, only to find there were no seats..or so I thought. Apparently there was a seat being occupied by Louis Vuitton. Simmer down folks, not the man the travel tote! Seems like the designer travel tote, who was not a paying customer, suddenly had more value than me. After numerous requests, the bitch woman reluctantly moved Louis to the side without an ounce of acknowledgement to my existence…I was invisible. 

It could have been worse, it could have been a cheap knock-off! I had to justify it somehow people! 

All of this, along with the negative climate that seems to be clouding over us daily, really has me questioning my own Truth to Power. Why is it so hard for us to exercise these simple tasks? 

We speak to power in three senses:

  • To those who hold high places in our national life and bear the terrible responsibility of making decisions for war or peace.
  • To the American people who are the final reservoir of power in this country and whose values and expectations set the limits for those who exercise authority.
  • To the idea of Power itself, and its impact on Twentieth Century life.

Our truth is ancient: 

  • that love endures and overcomes.
  • that hatred destroys.
  • that what is obtained by love is retained, but what is obtained by hatred proves a burden.

You can check out more on this powerful statement right here….sttp.html

Honestly, if we want things to be different, we as individuals need to take serious action to recommit to communicating rather than acting rashly, focus more on building rather than destroying and observe wisely rather than acting without thought.

These small changes can make a huge difference, not just in our daily lives, but as a nation and a world.

We can do this folks….Truth to Power…one day at a time. Enjoy The Ride!

 

42 responses

  1. This is such a great message. I agree and politics have only divided our country more. I’m afraid that the negativity coming out of this recession will last a while longer….

    1. I find we have never been more divided…it’s horrible.

  2. If you ever run for President, let me know. You have my vote!

    1. Thank you! I would if I had money. The Koch brothers would never give someone like me a dime….lol

  3. You know I love this post considering what mine is about today. Well-written. Live by example. Don’t be an asshole… and be good for goodness’ sake. 😉

    1. Your post actually confirmed my need to finish and push publish!

    1. Thank you and an extra thanks for the reblog!!

  4. Oh, so beautifully put, Tops. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. What a fabulous post – I loved it and its message. Thank you!

  6. As always, beautifully said. And just so you know, I would move my genuine Louis for you any day!!!

  7. Truth teaching is our reason for being and you my good lady, speak truth!!
    Great post 🙂

  8. Great post. So honest and timely. And what an interesting on-the-ground personal experience you share. I would think people would be a little more human on 9-11, too. I guess we have all become so numb to the tragedies that happen again and again – not to that extent, but tragedies, nonetheless. It is sad and I am glad you are writing about it. 🙂

  9. There’s so much here to talk about. I couldn’t agree with you more about the lackadaisical attitude that prevailed on the 11th. I was very affected still as you know but if I could tell you how many people said things to me like, “oh come on, enough already, I am so tired of it all.’ You’re right about what really happened that day, it wasn’t just the destruction of metal and mortar. Our country has never been the same. We’re not the same.

    Of course your humor couldn’t help but make an appearance. Your nephew’s 100th meal, and Louis taking up a seat. Despite the gravity of your theme I still had to smile.

    Wonderful essay, first rate writing.

    1. Hahaha! I’m glad you liked it. My nephew ate like a horse and he is skinny as a dam rail! Ugh…that dam tote sitting in the seat all smug, just like its owner.

      1. very funny. I love that you added its photo. Really made me laugh.

  10. Such a poignant post, Lisa with a message that needs to be said. The answer is not numbness and indifference, but rather unity, community and compassion.

  11. Love. We definitely more of that!

  12. No one remembers Pearl Harbor until they go to the memorial. The events of September 11 seem to have been relegated to a memorial and a political agenda. People have short memories, sadly. In both tragedies, the message is the same: we are vulnerable and we are strong, and we pull through pulling together. We forget!

    It was a glorious day this year just as it was then. Even on that day 11 years ago, we didn’t understand the enormity of what had transpired nor how to deal with it. When I returned to my Morningside Heights neighborhood early that afternoon, the sidewalk cafes were full of customers sipping iced drinks, laughing and joking. A few miles downtown from us, smoke from the towers was filling the air…uptown, it was business as usual.

    Hope you enjoyed the show! xoM

  13. I hate how our lives have changed since 9/11 even here in Canada, but people are now taking all our restrictions as a matter of course. We need to keep remembering before more of our freedoms are eroded.

  14. As a culture, as a country, we have the collective long term memory of a flea. On September 12, as the smoke still billowed over Manhattan, Central Pennsylvania and Washington there seemed to be an awareness of this, as one of the most fervently displayed messages among the memorials and waving of flags were the “Never Forget!” signs.

    It was as if people knew that they would in fact, do just that.

    People complain about airport security, about the economy and about whatever is bothering them this week, with no regard for how things came to be this way, with little acknowledgement that there are a few thousand people who left this earth just a few years ago without any choice or reason to leave so soon.

    September 11th has become the new December 7th. If history is any indicator, there will sadly be another date someday which becomes the new 9/11.

    Thank you for your post – I’ll try not to forget it.

  15. Excellent post! Thank you for sharing your heart, this truly is one of your very best in writing. I want to stand up and shout aloud with you to wake up, be caring and united. Thanks again.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad I posted it, it seems to be such a touch subject that I had my doubts.

      1. you wrote with grace and intelligence, glad you overcame your doubts!

  16. Well Said! Your message was thoughtful and straight. Sometimes a small attempt can also bring a massive change. I am glad you’ve chosen to spread these inspiring words with your blog. Once our country’s great man Mahatma Gandhi quoted, “Be the change you want to see in this world”. Sadly, everyone remembers it; but not many of us act the way he wanted us to do. I am sure your words are going to inspire many of us, to try and change thing in whatever small way possible. great post!!

    1. Thank you very much Arindam. I love that Gandhi quote so much. There is an enormous about of power in that simple statement.

  17. I did enjoy the ride. Nice thoughtful post.

  18. I ride the bus every day. Lots of us seem to prefer sitting next to our backpack or coach bag rather than another human being. Sometimes I wonder if I smell.

  19. Reblogged this on Life With The Top Down and commented:

    Never Forget

  20. Great Re-blog, Tops. I think you’re right that we didn’t learn the right lessons from 9/11. We learned to be more afraid, to build walls, to not let anybody in. We learned to be more afraid of strangers.

    I often think of the British reaction to things, and wish we had and/or would emulate them: WWII — the Blitz — the IRA bombing. People took care of themselves and other and didn’t let the assholes get them down. We put up walls, line up to be patted down and oh yeah, buy guns in case someone knocks on our door.

    We are dolts.

  21. I can honestly say that of all I read on September 11 this year, this had the most impact. Thank you.

  22. We need a sit-down over tea or something stronger to hash out handouts. This weekend we’re in Maine — so close, well, not really — so Leave a Reply will have to do. It’s a tricky issue, and could be a great conversation.

    Love your truth to power. Observing happens too rarely. Thanks —

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