Remembering Infinity

Spirituality | Metaphysics | Consciousness | Life


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Remembering Infinity: The Compassion of 9-11


When I think of 9-11, I’m humbled and amazed by the resilience and strength of the human spirit.

When I think of 9-11, I’m humbled and amazed by the resilience and strength of the human spirit.

It’s hard for me to imagine that fifteen years have already passed since the New York skyline was streaming with smoke and two gleaming symbols of American might were torn asunder. In many ways, the destruction the world witnessed on September 11, 2001 spelled the end of humanity’s innocence. Millions of people all around the world watched in abject horror as shattered glass, building debris, and the bodies of living human beings rained down on the panic-choked streets of Manhattan.

Although I was thousands of miles away at the time, I’ll never forget how it felt that day. Unable to tear my eyes away from the television as the tragic scenes from New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. played out on the screen, I felt intense and unrelenting waves of disbelief, anger, and grief. On that one fateful day, nearly 3,000 innocent men, women, and children lost their lives because of the hate, intolerance, and arrogance of a very few. What struck me as being especially bitter, however, was the death of over 400 of our finest first responders, our fire fighters and police officers. It was they who made the greatest sacrifice—for they were ones who rushed into the fray for the sole purpose of saving the lives of others.

In my community, the fire department honors the loss of these responders every September 11th by placing a small flag with a biographical profile for each on the firehouse lawn. Impressed by the display on our way by last night, my son and I stopped for a few moments to pay our respects. As I made my way slowly through the hundreds of flags, I thought about these fine men and women, their surviving colleagues, friends, and families. I could scarcely imagine the horrors they experienced that day and my heart was filled to overflowing with compassion for all of them.

When I awakened to a perfect, brilliantly blue sky this morning and thought about how I felt, the word “cathartic” immediately came to mind. It’s not a word I usually use and, to be quite honest, I had to look it up to be sure what it meant. The dictionary generally defines “cathartic” as a purging or releasing of emotional tensions. The Greek root meaning for this word is something on the order of “cleansing”. I’m not exactly sure why, but I felt the word was perfect for the way I felt. For some reason, I felt a strange and profound sense of peace over the events that occurred fifteen years ago today.

As I sometimes do on this day, I sat down to watch the movie, “World Trade Center”, starring Nicholas Cage and Michael Peña. It’s the true story of New York Port Authority Police Sergeant John McLoughlan and Officer Will Jimeno, both of whom became trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center when the Twin Towers fell. Both survived and were rescued, rather miraculously it seems, by two former U.S. Marines who were unofficial volunteers at the site. As I watched the movie again, this time I was able to see it through a slightly different viewpoint than I ever have before. Today, I saw it through the eyes of one who has been spiritually healed.

I suddenly realized that, for me, the cause of this tragedy didn’t matter nearly so much as the fact that millions of people from across the globe came together as one family—all of them filled with Love and Compassion for so many others who were suffering.

At the end of the movie, Sergeant McLoughlan (played by Nicholas Cage) narrates over scenes of a reunion party that was held two years after his rescue. As he and Officer Jimeno are welcomed by their guests and loved ones at the reunion, Sergeant McLoughlan says, “Nine-eleven showed us what human beings are capable of.  The evil? Yeah, sure. But it also brought out the goodness we forgot could exist. People taking care of each other; for no other reason than it was the right thing to do. It’s important for us to talk about that good. To remember. ‘Cause I saw a lot of good that day.”

To this day, I’m humbled and amazed at the resilience and strength of the human spirit. I’m held in utter awe by the selfless courage and compassion of those who risked and lost everything for the sake of people they didn’t even know. That is the face and future of humanity. That is the hope for a new world—and it’s one where such cruelty and such heroism need never be repeated. As compassionate human beings, we can rise above the differences that separate us.

We are one people, one spirit, one family.  And it’s long past time we started acting that way.

With Love,

stargazericon

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Remembering Infinity: Caution…Egos at Work!


Everyone would benefit we practiced more tolerance in our lives.

Everyone would benefit if we practiced even a little  more tolerance in our lives!

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about “ego”, its effect upon us, and how it influences the way we interact with one another.  Ego, as that part of self that sees us as being separate from everyone and everything else, often manifests itself as the need to be “right”, in charge or control of a situation, or defend our pride against a perceived offense. While the ego may have developed as a primitive way to ensure one’s survival, it’s quite clear that a great many of mankind’s difficulties and conflicts have been sparked or enflamed by the egos of the individuals involved!

Interestingly enough, I had an opportunity to see a perfect demonstration of this played out in front of me recently. In this situation, a confrontation erupted between two people when their paths inadvertently crossed at my workplace. One found himself in the way of the other and both, in their rush to get things done, were apparently less than respectful to one another. One took offense at the other’s brusqueness and, when a similar encounter between the two occurred several minutes later, tempers flared. When the two approached one another rudely and exchanged angry words, the entire scene reminded me of two angry wolves, circling one another and snarling over territory, simply because one wished to pass by the other in the forest!

While the two did manage to calm down, discuss the issue, and resolve things in a mutually acceptable manner, I somehow felt that the entire situation could have been avoided if either one had simply chosen to “take The High Road”.

  • Are we so sensitive that we demand respect before we offer it to others?
  • Once we’ve given respect, do we become angry if we don’t immediately receive it in return?
  • Are we in so much of a hurry that we no longer care about the needs of our fellow human beings?
  • Have we become so stressed by our own lives that we feel the need to push our stress onto others?

If we find ourselves saying “yes” to any of these questions, I think it may be time to lighten up just a bit!

As I make my way through the many challenges of life, I’m finding that it’s much easier to let others’ indiscretions pass than it is to “throw fuel on the fire”, so to speak. There may be a thousand reasons why people behave the way they do and, in all likelihood, they don’t have anything to with me. It doesn’t serve me, them, or anyone else well to react angrily to their confrontation. I’m also finding that, by not taking things personally, I’m able to remain calm and react in a more detached, rational manner.

I’m thinking that all of us might benefit from practicing a bit more tolerance and understanding in our lives. The brief moment it takes to take a deep breath and mentally step back from a tense situation might be all it takes to ensure that our reaction doesn’t become an over-reaction. Just imagine how our world might change if everyone were to try that. And if that doesn’t work, I suppose we could always wrap some bright yellow “CAUTION” tape around us when we’re in an unfriendly mood and just want to be left alone.

Hmmmm. Now that’s a fashion statement for these turbulent times!

With Love,

stargazericon

Please feel free to redistribute, repost, or otherwise share this post, providing it is credited to https://rememberinginfinity.wordpress.com.