Musings on September 11th
In honor of all who died on September 11th, and in honor of all who have died since in acts of hatetred and senseless violence whether on the streets of Baghdad, or the mountains of Afghanistan, or on the campus of Virginia Tech, with my heart full of sorrow and compassion and hope, I share the followingÂ thought by author Howard Zinn (as shared by my colleague Jim Wells) :
Â To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.
It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty,but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives.If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.
If we remember those times and places – and there are so many –
where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act,
and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world
in a different direction. Â
And if we do act, in however small a way,
we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.
The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now
as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us,is itself a marvelous victory.
(You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A personal history of our times, p. 208)
With wishes of comfort and peace to all who read this.Â Laura Marshall, Director