Here is the article I wrote this year on the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. I have already received a lot of positive encouragement from around the world. I wanted to share this with you so you can share in this time.
As you achieve your own personal success, it is important to think about what has happened and where we are. I look forward to your comments at email@example.com.
Reflections Two Years Later
From the Desk of Terry L. Brock
A special time of sharing on this morning of Thursday, September 11, 2003
In my study in Orlando, Florida
As I sit here early this morning, I look out the window and see a dark night/early morning in the city. A few brave souls motor their cars along the highways and roads. Lights of the city flicker around. It is a quiet world.
I love this time of day for thinking and contemplating. And today, two years after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, is a good day to take time to reflect.
Yes, it is a different world. Since that terrible day we’ve seen not only terrorists do the unthinkable and unimaginable but other major events that have changed our lives.
War in Afghanistan, was, for Americans at least, mercifully quick by historical war measures. Yet, two years later, lingering concerns are there as coalition forces chase Taliban remnants through the mountains of that historically cantankerous country. Yes, they’re pouring over the border from Pakistan, renewing and reinvigorating the sick cause of the Taliban. Yet, one has to pause and wonder how many more 10-13 year old Muslim boys are being trained to hate America enough to do harm at some future date. Our world has changed and we look at life differently.
As I read today’s online papers, I see an increasing hostility towards an America who is seen more as a bully by outsiders. Americans see themselves as insiders fully justified in “doing something” because of the attacks two years ago today. Would-be tourists from Brazil and other places are frustrated because of increased US fees and hassle just to have a three-hour refueling layover from, say, Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo. Many simply change plans and don’t visit places like Disney World (here in Orlando) or other areas. Tourist money from those places doesn’t appear in places like Orlando and ultimately jobs are lost. No amount of slick advertising will erase the negative images. Who knows the ramifications of a decision to vacation in another country, spend money there, meet and get to know people there, instead of America? Actions have consequences. This is all part of Human Action, as Ludwig von Misses told us. Well-meaning government bureaucrats can exercise power but they usually fail to see the long-term consequences of exercising that power.
We’ve had our faith in corporations and the wonders of this money-generating machine called Capitalism questioned. We saw the debacle of corporations like WorldCom, Enron, Global Crossing, even Martha Stewart, (!) etc. etc. We see that just chasing more dollars is not the answer, yet we need money to exist in our world. Perhaps the more overriding lesson and benefit to us from those corporate shenanigans and corruption is to 1) Never do it ourselves and 2) Be watchful for those that might try to do it to us. Capitalism, a free market economy, still remains the best system ever devised to achieve both materialistic goals and quality of life issues like health care, new technological innovation and a better lifestyle. I remain a vehement advocate of, as Reason magazine says, Free Minds and Free Markets. Yet, we realize it has to be blended with individual quality of life issues that are unique for each person. Our world has changed and we look at life differently.
We saw enormous problems even with the Catholic Church and religious institutions. Unspeakable horrors of their own making were pushed under the rug for years and only now are coming to light. Recently the Catholic Church agreed to pay large sums of money to some who came forward citing previous atrocities. Yet, one has to wonder if any amount of money can repair the damage not only to those who were abused, but also to the sense of respect and reverence for such an institution. Our world has changed and we look at life differently.
We also had the shock of the Space Shuttle Columbia. I remember watching the launch of Columbia from my balcony with a visiting friend. The loss of seven valiant souls hit us all, but it also raised further concerns about the reliability of technology. As we probe deeper, even the most die-hard “government-know-best” advocates question the efficacy of large bureaucratic organizations and their place in a new world that requires quick adaptation, innovation and less reliance on staid ways that might have worked in the past but hardly are ready to take us to a bright, but different, future.
Oh, and, if memory serves, I think we had another war earlier this year. Iraq was the place I believe, this time. Another quick technologically superior demonstration of American military might. Yet, now we question those weapons of mass destruction, the infuriating killings of American and coalition soldiers and now a President asking us to contribute yet another $87 billion to cover the cost. The only assurance we get is that “we’re fighting them over there rather than here.”
I’m not privy to CIA or FBI intelligence. For some funny reason, they have chosen to not reveal all their secrets to me. Yet, I have to wonder if spending even more money will rid the world of threats by the time we reflect on September 11, 2001 again next year at this time. The argument of “we’ll fight them there rather than here” would be dreadfully evaporated with one more terrible attack like we had two years ago today. We all hope that such an attack never comes, but we have to be alert and aware of the potential.
Is all lost?
No. Not by a long shot.
We are at a crossroads again, as we are so many times in life. We can see the gloom and doom. I’ve experienced it often and wonder the old Burt Bacharch song “What’s it all about, Alfie?”
Midlife descends like a cloud over many of us baby boomers. Yet as that cloud descends it also bring nourishing moisture to feed crops and keep all life healthy.
In the midst of “hurry sickness,” as Dr. Ken Metheny describes it, we keep busy trying to push away the pain. Or at least we try to push it away. Trying to continually push away the pain is like being in the middle of a lake in your boat and trying to force a basketball under the water. You can say, “If I only press a little harder next time…” but ultimately you know there is better solution than just trying harder to force that basketball under the water.
So what do we do?
I think it is a wonderful time of new beginning. The economy is coming back, but in a different way. Flying around is back, but in a different way. And lifestyle happiness is back for many, but in a different way. Yes, we should each take a moment today to reflect, in our own way, on what happened two years ago and how we have dealt with it and how we’ll deal with it in the future.
But don’t stay there. Get up! Get out! Get moving! I firmly believe that if the victims of September 11, 2001 could speak to us they would have us get moving and make our lives better.
Rethink your own life. What is your purpose? What is important to you?
I believe the glass is half full. I see great opportunities both in business and for more important life issues in the future. Another person seeing the same glass could say it is half empty that we aren’t in the booming 90’s and cite the problems I’ve mentioned and more.
Take time to reflect today, for a moment, then get back to work in your new world. Use your own personal reflection about the events of two years ago as a stimulus to reinvigorate your life and renew for those goals that matter most to you, your family, your friends and loved ones.
Thanx for sharing this moment with me.
I need to get to work, as the sun is about to come up here in Orlando. A new day, a new life, awaits and it is bursting forth on the horizon.
Terry Brock is an internationally recognized professional speaker, consultant and author in the fields of business productivity, technology and marketing. He is a syndicated
columnist for Biz Journals across America and can be reached at 407-363-0505 , by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.terrybrock.com
Copyright © 2003, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission. Permission granted to Biz Journals to use in regular publication.