Diana Butler Bass reminded me that the 10th anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks was a Sunday.  I don’t think I talked much about it during our worship service that day. It was Rally Day, the day that we kick off a new Sunday School year, and we want to have a festive feel to the day.

This year, the 15th anniversary, 9/11 is a Sunday again. It’s Rally Day again at my church (though I wasn’t there today). I suspect my colleague didn’t make much of the anniversary either.

I think we make a thing of the multiple-of-five anniversaries of events because we have five fingers on each hand. That’s also probably why we use base 10 for mathematics. And why we get excited when the odometer in our cars turns from 99,999 to 100,000, but not from 99,998 to 99,999. And why we got excited about the beginning of a new millennium on the evening of 12/31/99, even though the millennium didn’t really begin for another year.

And so, another anniversary comes, and it’s a multiple-of-five anniversary. As a nation we pause and remember. I’m staying away from the news, but I’ll be politicians are trying to make hay out of the anniversary.

For the families who lost loved ones on 9/11/01, I’m sure each anniversary was and is devastating. I can’t imagine the depth of loss the experienced and experience now. I can’t imagine what their grief was and is like. And I’m a pretty imaginative guy. This blog post isn’t for or about those people. This is about the rest of us.

I’ve been listening to Diana Butler Bass read her book Grounded as I’ve been driving this week. Today, as it turned out, I heard her section on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. She quotes the Dalai Lama, and I’m putting that quote here because I think it is the most important thing for the rest of us to remember:

A central teaching in most spiritual traditions is: What you wish to experience, provide for another. Look to see, now, what it is you wish to experience in your own life, and in the world…. If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another. If you wish to know that you are safe, cause another to know that they are safe. If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another to better understand. If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of another. Those others are waiting for you now…. They are looking to you for love.

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