A decade ago I was a little over a month away from birthing my first child. I sat, stunned, grief-stricken, and appalled at what was wrought that morning in the span of almost two hours.
I suddenly couldn’t imagine bringing my baby into a world where there was that kind of hate. The kind of hate that could demand the lives of so many people who had done nothing to the perpetrators of that most heinous crime. The kind of hate that, I knew, was going to breed a like kind of hate from my countrymen. A kind of hate that demanded blood for blood.
Why, I wondered, couldn’t we see the never ending cycle we would be falling into if we answered an awful act of violence with more violence? Turns out? Questioning the retaliatory violence was not a popular stance. I was a quiet voice in a storm of yells screaming for blood. It didn’t take long for it to be scary to put voice to dissent.
As someone who has always paid attention, as someone who has always cared way too much, it was difficult for me to move forward while seeing the giant steps the government was taking as giant, unfathomable mistakes. I had to turn away from the world and the news at a time when many, who’d not been paying attention before were suddenly riveted to their screens. I had to focus on my unborn baby, on me.
On 10/22/2001, I discovered what a healing event child birth can be. I discovered that it wasn’t about what the world was like, but how I taught my child to see that world. What September Eleventh taught me was that ignorance breeds fear and people who fear lash out in anger, and once you fall into that cycle of fear and anger, it’s hard to get out of it. What I learned was that if we had even a moderate amount of acceptance of the differences prevalent in the human race, we might live in a peaceful world. I realize that these things are very idealistic and that reality tends to be much starker, much darker. But here I am, 10 years and three kids later, and still I know, deep in my bones, that accepting one another and respecting our differences much hatred and anger would be eliminated from the world.
I hope that one day my kids will be my pebbles in the still waters of the future and create ripples and eventually waves toward a better, brighter tomorrow.