Updated: Dec 1, 2020
In my upcoming book, Healing with Spirit, I share this quote from my daughter's friend Lucas Murray. This wisdom flowed forth on an anniversary of 9/11. May it inspire us all.
"I sat at my kitchen table in the early dawn this morning and read about people's experiences on that terrible day. Victim's families, grounded travelers, first responders at Ground Zero all told their stories. I thought about the unfathomable sense of loss and grief delivered to these people. And I cried into my bowl of cereal in my empty house. I read and cried, and read and cried. I think I started out looking for some sort of message, some sort of understanding. But it wasn’t there. There was only raw emotion. I thought that maybe I would understand what all this meant as the day passed. But for most of the day it just felt like a kaleidoscope of stories and grief-stricken emotions.
It was only this evening when my thoughts slowly solidified, when I gave meaning to all these stories I had read. Grief is better handled together. For all those who we have lost, there are those still around us. Compassion is not only what lets us heal, it’s what gives color to our lives. A helping hand is the thing that pulls you from the depths of sorrow, and also the thing that shows you the most beautiful moments of life. And that’s what was illustrated across the spectrum of experiences people had on that terrible day. There were people brought together by delayed flights, and those torn apart, their only solace support from their loved ones and community. Compassion for one another brought us together, showed us a sliver of hope in our crumbling, vulnerable world.
Despite how raw it felt that day and many after, this is a lesson that’s easily forgotten during our busy days. We always think there will be other time for compassion, when we get home from work, when we go on vacation, the holidays. But those are such fleeting moments in our already short lives. The true reality is that no one is going to be in your life for that long. Life absolutely flies by, and it will go faster and faster the older you get. That’s why it’s worth it to smile, to say hello to someone you’ve never met before, to make people laugh, and laugh at other people’s jokes any chance you get. That’s why it’s worth it to go talk to your friends and family at their most terrible moments. Because that helping hand will make all the difference in the world."