Some of you may react with repulsion at the title of this post…some may think it is dishonorable to lighten up on this day of tragedy – September 11th…others may not yet be ready to let go of the pain and suffering…and those closest to the tragedy may be experiencing the trauma anew as the anniversary approaches.
Many psychologists suggest its okay to start changing the way we remember 9-11. Not to forget, but to change the meaning of the remembrance. To act on what is left, not on what has been taken away.
Some of us have seen this already happen around us: Look on any calendar and this Sunday you will find fairs and festivals going on- even in New York. You may have friends who are getting married on this Sunday or celebrating a birthday or anniversary with a party. Even many of the news media are turning their memories to reflect on the positive and hope of the nation. We Americans have an uncanny and admirable ability to do this- turn tragedy into hope. Its the backbone of this great nation.
The American Psychological Association has produced a great video helping turn our tradition of remembering to more healthy activities.
What else can we do?
- Meditate and pray: Prayer and meditation have been shown to have a tremendous healing affect on those who engage in this activity.
- Promote unity: Remember the feeling of oneness and brotherhood that grew during those awful weeks after the 9-11 event? Capture that once again in your life, through your own expression and through organizational activities.
- Allow diversity: We may not agree with others, but if we honor their right to feel and think and behave in ways that don’t hurt us- but may be different- we promote peace
- Celebrate: Embrace the joy that comes from knowing we have, as a people, overcome such a great calamity and have won the battle to remain human and whole through it all. Sometimes the worse that can happen cannot be imagined and gratefully is never revealed.