9/11 will always represent a pivotal moment in my life.
19 years ago, I decided to take a massive leap of faith and commit fully to the business that I still operate today. I gave notice at my job, and Monday, September 10th, 2001 became my first day as a full-time marketing consultant.
This isn’t going to be a “where were you on 9/11?” post. I did that on the 7th anniversary. Nor is it a reflection on the bizarre connection my local community has to the tragic events of that day… nor of the apparent FBI goof-up.
Instead, this is a brief meditation on how 9/11 feels in the most bizarre year of our lives.
2020 is the year that so much has crystallized for me. And possibly for others.
In 2020, more than ever, I find that I:
- distrust government, media outlets, and tech platforms more than ever
- detest the politicization of everything from wearing masks to treating human beings with dignity and respect (or not)
- despise the binary view of beliefs which attempts to place everyone on either the “left” or the “right”
- lament the loss of hopes and dreams on the part of so many—from fires and other calamities… from watching the fabric of our society fray before our eyes… or from witnessing the foundations of our economy quake
- labor every day without the sense that I’m making a meaningful contribution any more.
In 2001, we were attacked by an enemy. I wept for the families of the 9/11 victims. I was heartbroken for New York City. And I was stricken with a sense of duty to protect the freedoms and values that I thought our nation represented.
In 2020, we are the enemy. We’ve lost our ability to listen and to speak. Our love for our fellow human beings seems to have vanished. Our system of government seems to be failing. Our institutions are untrustworthy.
The 9/11 attacks took place over the span of mere hours—a bright flash of terror that changed us forever.
The 2020 attacks have taken months—a gradual glow, not of terror, but of dismay.
How will we recover?