Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Thursday, September 09, 2010


A day of infamy

It’s hard to believe nine years have passed since my nephew noted that the September 11, 2001 sneak attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. were “9-1-1” since that means emergency. Like Pearl Harbor, the murder of John Kennedy, and such, people will likely remember what they were doing that Tuesday morning. I know I do.

I was at the office, going about business as usual when one of the social workers started passing the word that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. My thought was that would have to be an uncanny accident – perhaps a pilot had suffered a heart attack or something. I’d been to New York and was familiar with the two tall towers. They were big, but still a small point in a huge sky. Radios and some portable televisions were turned on when the second jet slammed into the South Tower. “That’s no coincidence,” I knew. Who would do that? How? Why?

By the time news of a third guided missile attack on the Pentagon came around it was evident this was an historic day – this generation’s equivalent of Pearl Harbor. We were being attacked, murderously. Around this time I reflected back on an earlier bombing attempt on the World Trade Center – radical Islamics. They found a better way, it seemed.

Word came around of a fourth hijacked plane crashing in Pennsylvania – apparently the passengers learned of the earlier suicide attacks and weren’t going along with that one. Save one White House, or Capitol.  We, The People, had begun the counter-offensive.

I recall being impressed with the cool professionalism of President Bush who completed his task with young students without alarm before going aloft. More impressive was his stop at Barksdale AFB.

Like the 19th and 20th centuries, the 21st would begin with a major war – of ideology rather than dynasties and nations.

A friend living in NYC sent the following email, dated September 12, 2001:
Today in the office, it is sad beyond description. In spite of the fact that many of us didn't lost friends or loved one, the site of people leaping out of windows, and the fact that something this horrible it could happen at all has changed us. The streets are empty, people are shell shocked. Sometimes it hits you this really happened and then sometimes you feel numb to it as thought it didn't happen and life is as usual. It is the most beautiful day outside as was yesterday. Hints of fall in the air - but eerily silent – no traffic - no airplanes - no hustle bustle. People continue to move about as though they are dreaming. I am devastated by this and feel certain this is the beginning - the beginning of more horror to follow. War? Most of the elderly compare the events to a blitz. Our lives have been altered forever here.

The amazing aspect of the attacks were the casualties - remarkbly few, considering.  The wake-up, as it were, was that many people simply do not "get" the "We The People" format of this nation.  It terrifies them.  I've never fathomed how freedom can frighten.  It's an old conflict, and it continues...

9-11-01 Artifact

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