We’ll hear those words a lot today and I marvel as much at how much has changed in the last 12 years as I do abut how little has changed both in my life and our nation as a whole. I’ve been married and divorced. I’ve made friends and lost them. I’ve welcomed new lives into the world and buried people way too soon. Our nation has made advancement in science and technology as well as stepped back in how we approach food and diet by stepping further and further away from processed foods and getting back to our food roots.
I am saddened though to see how little we have progressed in terms of tolerance. How little of an impact big events make in people’s lives these days. When I was young, the date to remember was Kennedy’s Assassination. My parents and probably yours could tell you where they were and how they felt upon hearing. (MY parents can also sing their High School sing for you) I remember thinking that I had nothing to compare that to in my life. Now that I do, I can understand why they remember. Why its important to not forget. Today people are saying that they don’t remember. People are focusing on objects of negative things which detract from what happened on this day in history. I don’t understand the intolerance and venom I am seeing.
It’s part of why I don’t watch tv news any more. We have increased our understanding of the idea that we have a right to express our opinion, our thoughts and feelings. At the same time, we have somehow decreased our ability to be tolerant of other people’s choices and feelings. It shocks me to see how many people are intolerant of the idea of a Muslim group marching on this day to try and help dispel the fear of Muslims. To remind people that zealots do not define their religion. Instead we show support for a group whose main mission is to counter that of the first and drown out their voice with the mournful growl of their bikes. It saddens me. I thought briefly about removing the many many people in my Facebook stream that are helping propagate such hatred, but I went to bed last night before doing so thinking I needed a bit more perspective. Today a friend posted a beautiful thought. Beyond the many many remembrance photos and “never forget”s all over my stream is the thought I appreciate the most.
Today remember EVERYONE who has lost their lives to all types of extremists by doing something nice for someone else. The best weapon against hatred is KINDNESS.