A reflection, this year, seems grossly inadequate. Even though every year my view of Ground Zero changes. I know I’m not the only one overwhelmed and exhausted by the world right now. Watching as we insult each other on social media until our fingers bleed about things that cannot be changed in this forum of self-aggrandizing water buckets and public shaming. I am also guilty. Grumbling to myself self-righteously as I watch more and more protesters whose anger – while justified – has not yet evolved into meaningful organization. Watching those who scream and rage about the need for community instead of setting about to build it (both them and me). This year my frustration is leaking through my respectful gratitude. So this year, no waxing nostalgic about the miracles of hell. Our world is broken. And the xenophobic gas released in the wake of 9/11 has only spread and deepened. Stronger than ever. Because we haven’t done enough to stop it. You haven’t done enough. And neither have I.
I don’t want to live in this anger. I don’t want it to cloud my love of this life and the potential for extraordinary action that I know we each possess. So it is the equality of that potential that I will focus on this year. I will double down on my commitment to craft the world I want in spite of the assholes and arsenals that stand in my way.
This is my 9/11.
I promise to stand up.
I promise to laugh.
I promise to build my community.
I promise to work my ass off.
I promise to organize.
I promise to use my fear to drive me forward.
And finally, I promise not to divide. I will not buy in to the manufacturing of enemies. I will not blame “Islam” or “the immigrants” or “the republicans” or “the men” or “the cops” or “the 1%” or any other such horseshit. I will not play that game. I will remain open to any allies willing to work toward the same unity. I will work for unity as opposed to the defeat of enemies. I will remember that it was our work in Ground Zero that united us then – and it is the work we do every day that can unite us now.
We have a lot of work to do.