Getting A Grip On Black Tuesday - 9/11
by Ruby Bayan - 09/14/01
I am frozen, dazed, unable to grasp the horror I have been observing. My mind is reeling, trying to make sense of the tragedy. My heart is broken, watching the pain on other people's faces. My sensibilities are offended, failing to comprehend why humans could be so angry to choose to hurt and annihilate one another.
As I gazed at the television flash the horrors of Sept 11 over and over, I kept thinking... these images of murder, mayhem, and mass destruction have appeared in different forms, in various degrees, in remote corners of the world, for many centuries. Today, the images come not from the World Wars, not from the jungles of Asia, nor the deserts of the Middle East, but from the financial district and seat of power of the most industrialized nation on the planet. I don't understand.
Religion, culture, and politics define our societies and create the indelible marks that render each of us unique in our own right. But how can man be so moved to prey on each other, to the extent of taking lives, including their own, in order to protect and uphold their religion, culture, and politics? I don't understand.
Then I think... survival of the fittest, natural attrition, the dichotomy of good and evil, the price of love and conviction, the seven deadly sins. Is man so doomed after all? I don't understand.
But why should I even try to understand? Today, I woke up tired of the futility to make sense of what I see and hear. I mourn for the victims and feel their loss. I laud the volunteers who assist the fallen. I admire the policy makers who try to make our surroundings safe and secure. That's all I can manage right now. I don't need to understand anything else.
As I live another day, I comfort myself with the fact that each of us makes our own choices in life. We all want to make the right decisions all the time -- we decide to improve, to be happy and successful, and to build a promising future for our children.
As I live another moment, I look forward to the day when all of mankind will collectively decide to build a better world... but most importantly, to make one right decision -- to be human enough to uphold the natural imperative, which is the preservation of our species.
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war." -- Otto Von Bismarck
"I have known war as few men now living know it. Its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes." -- Douglas MacArthur
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind." -- John F. Kennedy