September 11, 2013

Not Just Remembering 9/11 Remembering our Nation As A Whole

September 11, 2001, my daughter comes running into my bedroom, “MOM! The news said a plane hit one of the big sky scrapers in New York!”  I sort of just rolled over and said…”oh, that’s messed up.    I kind of just rolled over and went back into a slight Doze.    I’m not sure how long it was but she came back into my room “Mom another plain just crashed into the other sky scraper.  The news things it’s an attack on America!”  
 I jumped up and went to the T.V watching the towers burn. "Hmm…” 

 I didn’t really say too much after that.  What was there to say?
This should have been a frightening experience.  Was I in shock?  Was I numb?  Was I de sensitized? I don’t know what I was.  But I know what I wasn't.

wasn't too shocked. I was a little worried at how shocked and surprised I wasn't   I got dressed and went to work but there was very little work goin on.  I can remember with each phone call it was so little about business but more bout how we, as Americans need to pull together and unify.  That whole work week was more of a reassurance that hey, I may be across the country from you, but I’m here I share the same pain and sorrow and let’s love and respect our   country and support our countrymen.
For week, we as Americans, begin to see things differently. Tolerated violence less in hour homes, hour neighborhoods’ and even in our entertainment.  Do you remember there were certain scenes cut out of Movies and T.V shows because it was too close to the situation of  9/11?  I can remember saying to some of my friends… “I think it’s funny that we as Americans were ok with TV. And Movies that showed war and terrorism in other countries, but since it’s happened on this soil we’re suddenly cautious and sensitive to it?  
It’s the same Production but different stage. In reality it shouldn't be the stage that matters it should be the production itself.

One of the first things that came to my mind during 9/11 and the weeks after was… WHY IS EVERYONE SO SHOCKED AND SURPRISED?    As I watched the T.V as the events unfolded I remember a time years ago where my mother gathered me and my sister together each week and we read the book of Revelations. I’m not sure why she felt compelled to do it. I thought it was odd at the time. 
 Being the artistic child in the family when I read things they would play out in my mind very animated and full of color and drama! So for me, it was like a page out Revelations being scene on TV.   And then I thought… THE WORLD AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET! This is going to be tame compared to what else is to come in our lifetime.  I don’t recall being fearful.  I grew up in Michigan. The state of Michigan has the highest concentration of Muslims out side of Muslim countries. Detroit has the country's largest concentration of Arabs (mostly Lebanese, Iraqis, Palestinians, and Yemenis), a legacy of the days when Henry Ford employed Lebanese laborers. They were my co-workers, school mates and friends.  I remember in the days after on the new they showed where 3 business men were asked to leave a flight because the other passengers weren't comfortable with them being on it.

  How sad it was to have such “justified” paranoia toward the stereotype.

  I experience PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Now those in the Military will recognize it and most people will recognize is as the term “SHELL SHOCK.”  
It comes from traumas that we encounter. When we don’t deal with the trauma properly, any situation that shows up in our lives resembling that trauma will cause the mind and body to think the trauma is happening all over again causing you to go into an irrational Fight or Flight mode. The tricky thing is that anything can trigger this reaction: A smell, a phrase, a song on the radio, a T.V Show or movie,  the way someone looks or acts, an article of clothing….   If you don’t know the proper steps to take when the triggers happen then your reactions can be more damaging to you and those around you. I haven't even mentioned the PHYSICAL effects it has, headache, nausea, blurred vision... 


I have come to determine that our Nation suffers from PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and we suffer on all levels: Religiously, Politically, Financially, Racially Civilly and Socially.
We Are A Wounded Nation.
We are a wounded nation and it effects us all on a personal level. How do you heal a nation? It begins on a personal level. It begins with our own issues. It begins with us recognizing our own truth and owning it.  It begins when we decide to live in our truth or change it because we don’t like it and then doing the work to create a better truth. We will never begin to truly live our lives as long as we expect others to do the work to repair it.
 My generation will either be the generation that makes it better or makes it worse and begins with something as simple as teaching our children and grandchildren within the home. We are a nation who doesn't mind lying down and doing what it takes to bring children into the world. But somewhere along the way we've stopped parenting and teaching them. 

We've put them in front of TVs, Computers and iPads and allowed for those things to take our place in their education.
 I can remember being in Kindergarten, knowing my ABC’s and how to count to 50 and knowing how to spell my name and yes…. Reading. Small simple books. I address my teachers and my parent’s friends as Mrs., Miss or Mister, not by their first name, because we were not contemporaries. We were taught to look people in the face when we spoke to them and speak loudly and clearly and with confidence. These were some of the things that would make us successful in life.

 The home is our first school of learning: table manners, common courtesies how to get along. If two or more of us wanted to watch different shows at the same time there was no 2nd or 3rd TV we had to learn how to compromise and negotiate with each other. Sometimes the negotiation was to digress and give in.  Other times it was to strike a deal and go after what was worth it to you. All skills you need to learn to have a successful life. We had to pick our battles. If I get mad and hit my brother, how will he retaliate, will I be strong enough to deal with it? Will whatever happens after be worth the shot I took?  We had to think things through and live with consequences and be accountable for our actions. If we stole something we were marched right back into the store and had to confess what we did to the people we did it to.   There’s very little accountability for choices these days.  Bad behavior and disrespect is excused because it’s funny or because it’s done in truth or because it’s none of our business.  As a child even if we were brutally honest as children are we were schooled on the appropriateness, attitude and disrespect we presented that truth.  We learned when truth should be brutally honest, when it should set you free, and when it came with gentle correction and strong love.  

 Lack of these things add to the PTSD of our Nation.
Failing to take advantage of our education and knowing the importance of it adds to the PTSD of Nation. For some of it, it was our only way out of breaking a cycle of poverty and negative environment. School is where we learned to be part of a team, cheering and encouraging other and being a part of a group (instead of a gang) that set goals and accomplished them.  Almost most every kid was in cub scouts, boy scouts, Brownies or Campfire girls.  Boy and girls clubs flourished with positive activities for community and person growth. Weekends were spent at the YMCA or the Rec Centers with friends and we played basket ball, Volleyball, Softball, Baseball, hockey and learned to swim. And when it was nice outside we rode bikes and skate boards, made jumps and forts and go-carts or played baseball in the vacant fields.  Our Asses were healthier and smaller because we moved them and didn't need them for a cushion all night and day.
Things were rarely just given to us frivolously. We had to earn money through cutting grass, raking leaves, shoveling snow, helping the neighbor do chores if we wanted a new bike, roller blades, skateboards, action figures, radios or walkie talkies. Feel free to replace that with Scooters, cars, clothes, cell phones, ipods/pad or xbox’s.
We weren't afraid to Say Grace or reference scriptures or any other book that might lay some kind of moral foundation. It was cool to hang out with parents and grandparents and they knew our friends and their family members for a couple of Generations.
 People weren't  offended when you corrected their children for doing the wrong thing. As a matter of fact they called you and thanked you for setting them straight and looking out for them in the absence of their parent. And the parents had the courage to be embarrassed by the actions of the offending child and reinforced that correction.   We lived in the village and tolerate the village fool and the village idiot because even they have a value, even if it was to be an example of what not to do and how to be better.  
It was ok for our sons to play with girls and our daughters to play with boys because they were appropriate, we taught them how to be.
 We didn’t separated them until the age of 16 and then expect them to automatically know how to deal with each other. We grew them up together, watched them fight as kids and learn how to settle it without parents getting too involved to the rescue. We sent them on activities together with our families and their families so if they could date at the right age they had a foundation of friendship and familiarity. They curiosity of each other didn’t get the best of them and carry them away to unknown and pent up curiosity.
We are in a day and age of exceptions. Everyone man woman and child I know and their situation is the exception to some kind of rule making us all JUST AS SPECIAL AND IMPORTANT as everyone else. The agenda of some is to push the exception to be the rule.  Putting the needs of the one above the needs of the most or not accepting that which is “just as good as” the rule.

We’ve turned into a nation of selfish untrusting control freaks. We want power and control over people and thing but aren’t willing to do the work to accomplish those things. We tell folks what we want and expect everyone else to do the work to accomplish it.  And become upset when they don’t do it right or how we want it done. Not recognizing it just may not be what they want.
We've come from a nation of loving Shirley Temple to Loving Honey Boo Boo.
 From loving the Mickey Mouse Club to Loving the Bad Girl’s Club and from watching the Honey Moon game to watching the Bachelor and Bachelorette.  In a diverse nation it takes all kinds to strengthen and weaken it.
 Our country is wounded, our pride is wounded and we are becoming weaker each year, not recognizing that the strength of the Nation is dependent on the strength of the home and family.  It thrives off the working man doing the manual labor to make things happen, more than the man up in the office on the phone. It thrives on the teachers who educate our kids, the police and firefighter who put the lives on the line each time they go into work, not the pro athlete, the actress or the rap artists making a million and using it for multiple cars, houses and jewelry.
 It thrives on the Mothers and Fathers who support each other and their children, not the playa’s and the baby mama’s  who can’t afford to live by themselves, let alone take care of someone they’ve brought into the world. In the Animal world, A baby penguin will die if both parents don't work together.

        We’ve jump to become offended first instead of allowing common sense, or even the Holy Spirit of God to discern if offense was intended.  We fight and disagree trying to see eye to eye instead of understanding that it’s more important to see heart to heart. 
 The state of the Nation is in some way no better or worse off then the state of our homes and family.  We’ve lost focus.  It is us who heals and strengthens the Nations. The Nation doesn’t heal and strengthen us.

   Let us take this opportunity to look back at 9/11 and remember and in that remembrance let us remember how we used to be as a country and Let us also take this opportunity to begin to heal our Nation on a more personal level. We can’t control our Government or our neighbors. But we can go back into our homes as parents and families and begin to heal within the safety of it’s walls, How knows maybe the generation behind us will become the generations that brings it all back together.  God Bless you. God Bless the USA.