10. We are cracking down on terrorism.
With the horrors of terrorism reaching so vast an audience, the world’s new focus on defeating terrorism may one day save us from each other and ourselves.
9. The odds are in our favor.
The chance of anyone dying today (or any other day) is always the same. The people who died on September 11th were beating the odds. Something as unprecedented as that occurs so rarely that few people should really worry for their own safety. The more catastrophic something is, the less likely it is to happen.
8. The world is made more aware of the problems with extremists.
Unfortunately, many people are persecuted for the actions of extremists claiming allegiance to their ideologies or religions. By understanding that the extreme minority that commits these horrible things, we learn tolerance for those who happen to call themselves by the same name as misguided idealists.
7. The United States of America
Though I have to admit it has faded back into party-divided debates, this country seemed–for a while–truly the United States. Some of us felt patriotism we never knew we had, while others took this as an opportunity to assert their nationalistic pride. But, we did not get this way by separating ourselves from the rest of the world, so we must continue to stand together.
6. We learned how buildings fall.
There is no way to crash test a building, and this unprecedented event allowed us to see the worst-case scenario take place. With every catastrophe comes a chance to defeat future ones.
5. There is an increase in civil service.
There is something poetic about the “crimson tide” that swept across this country. Starting about lunchtime on September 11th, and continuing for several days, blood banks started filling up all over the U.S. The terrorists wanted to spill the blood of their enemies, but instead many voluntarily did so to save their human cousins. People who were unable to do anything felt they had to do something. More blood was preserved that day than all the blood that was spilled.
4. We learned not to underestimate the evil of people.
By letting our guards down, we open ourselves to attack. But no one can (or should have to) anticipate a blinding shot out of nowhere. There may or not be a great evil at work in the world, but there is no debate as to the evil intentions of some humans.
3. We discovered what a true hero could be.
Ordinary people in extraordinary situations have always created the most heroic people in history. People who were “just going to work” changed the course of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of individual lives.
2. Many people grew spiritually.
Whether you are Buddhist, Catholic, Agnostic, Jewish, Muslim, Non-religious, Christian, Hindu, Atheist, you can identify to some degree with the tragedy that occurred that day. Though only the minutest fraction of Americans actually lost friends or family, we all watched the events unfold on television. We are fortunate enough not to have suffered such a loss, but that does not mean we do not empathize with the horror of that day.
1. You’re still here.
Smile. After all, you are still here. If you have been afraid or suffered a loss this past year, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.