Whenever the memorial date that marks a tragic event comes around, it can be a productive time for us to reflect and to introspect. Along with millions of others around the globe, I will never forget where I was on that fateful morning that really doesn’t seem so long ago. On September 11, 2001, a series of well-coordinated terrorist attacks occurred on U.S. soil, they forever changed the global landscape and how we live our daily lives. Those attacks killed approximately 2,996 and wounded over 6,000 people from many different countries. They caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damages. Let us not forget the other people who died from related-cancers and respiratory diseases linked to the attacks, nor those killed in the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that will cost between $4 to $6 trillion. That figure takes into account medical care for our wounded veterans and the expensive repairs to our military forces depleted by more than a decade of fighting. The value of the human lives lost on both sides is incalculable.
Since, the beginning of recorded human history, armed conflicts between us have been part of our existence. I do not believe there are many, if any, races, tribes, nationalities, or even countries that at one time or another haven’t felt the ravages of war. Of course, the reasons and opinions for these conflicts are many, sometimes very complex, and debating them can cause even more hostility between us. The spread of empires, Manifest Destiny, tribal laws, colonialism, and outright aggression are a few of the reasons why mankind has fought against each other. Economic, political, social, and religious differences have played significant roles in the deadly struggles between humans.
I’m not writing to discuss the rights or wrongs of armed conflict. However, I do believe every sovereign nation has a right to defend itself from those who would do it harm. Sometimes this defense may even be a deterrent to more violence. Despite my belief in a right to self-defend, my heart truly bleeds for the thousands of families who lost loved ones on 9/1/01, and for the tens of thousands of families who lost anyone in any of the armed conflicts that occurred afterwards. I am sincerely appreciative and very grateful for the men and women and their families who supported them when they deployed. I will not forget the brave and dedicated people who continue to serve valiantly, protecting our interests around the world. There are no words to describe my indebtedness for their sacrifices, for without them, America and its opportunities, would not exist.
In case you’re still with me:
One thing is for sure, we will always be people with diverse backgrounds, religions, and cultures, and we will continue to have our differences. My hope is that we can try to negotiate through our antagonism with each other. Of course, world history speaks for itself, there will still be wars fought between us with deadly consequences. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance to modify the way we do things. Perhaps, we might change direction and seek alternatives to combat. Of course, you’re probably thinking…oh boy, here we go again, another call for global peace. But seriously, why not? Just try to imagine being part of a positive global transformation. Try to imagine educating people on a massive scale about the positive ways that we can interact to solve our differences without engaging in extreme violence. Try to imagine creating businesses that have legitimate human-improvement missions embedded within their corporate DNAs, that have detailed plans to create massive wealth, that incorporate stratagems that will bring balance and positive change to the condition of all humankind, both in commerce and in healing. Certainly, companies designed with such commerce AND healing in mind, could take gigantic steps in creating a legacy for the entire human race. If we, as business people, actually collaborated on a global scale, think about the unlimited possibilities we could create to improve our condition…
In closing, may we never forget the lives that were lost on or after September 11, 2001. Let us continue to pray for them and to honor their sacrifices. Though a grievous time for so many, it’s important to understand that this process of healing can be a time for us to renew our hope, faith, and optimism for a better future. As humans, we can do still do great things if we set our minds to them. After all, we made fire, discovered cures for a host of dreaded diseases, created nails, found electricity, built automobiles, airplanes, and rockets, invented transistors, semi-conductors, personal computers, smart phones, and even developed the internet. Think about it, with the right mindset and by having great plans, we could literally transform the human condition…just, what if…what if we provoked each other with positive thoughts and actions instead of sabers and the status quo?
Thank you, hug your loved ones and be safe today.
Advocate for Humankind, Businessman, Survivor
Creator, Task Force Zen (“Healing Without Labels”), An extension of GreenZone Hero and a coming Nexus-point for business people, educators, and healers.