Tuesday, September 11, 2007

sowing seeds

Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) playwright, novelist, poet

there are days that are emblazoned in memory where every little detail from that day stands out. september 11 is that kind of day. some of us can recall exactly what we were doing when the news began to break about an airplane hitting the first tower. I was on my way to work, but first I had to make a quick stop at the local nursery to buy birdseed. I ran in, the radio was on in the store, suddenly a 'news flash' interrupted the music with an announcement that they just received word that an airplane had collided with the north tower of the world trade center. the store clerk and I started talking about how could that have happened, what was going on with air traffic control, did the pilot have a heart attack or something? of course we thought it was some sort of terrible accident. then a couple minutes later the radio newsman stated that another plane had just hit the south tower. at that moment we looked at each other we knew this was no accident.

I left the store and I knew our world would never be the same. I knew that what had occurred was a truly malicious and evil act, however, little did I know that people in my country would use that event to sow seeds of intolerance and hatred and fan the embers of fear that always seem to live deep inside each of us. for some people these primordial embers became raging flames of fear. there are those that have used this fear to stoke the country's war machine. but history shows us that using violence to counter violence only creates more death, destruction, dread, grief and horror.

the following 'advice' from the dalai lama offers another path to take:

War seems to be part of the history of humanity. As we look at the situation of our planet in the past, countries, regions and even villages were economically independent of one another. Under those circumstances, the destruction of our enemy might have been a victory for us. There was a relevance to violence and war. However, today we are so interdependent that the concept of war has become out dated. When we face problems or disagreements today, we have to arrive at solutions through dialogue. Dialogue is the only appropriate method. One-sided victory is no longer relevant. We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep in mind the interests of others. We cannot destroy our neighbors! We cannot ignore their interests! Doing so would ultimately cause us to suffer. I therefore think that the concept of violence is now unsuitable. Nonviolence is the appropriate method.

for me the anniversary of 9-11 is a time to reflect on and honor the lives of those who died. their deaths were a result of acts of violence visited on this country - these acts grew out of seeds of hatred and intolerance that were 'nurtured' and took hold inside the people who were responsible for carrying them out. we must make sure we don't 'plant' those same seeds - the only way to get rid of the malicious plants that result from planting those kind of 'seeds' are to sow seeds of love, compassion, and acceptance. for these are the kind of seeds that give fruit which nourishes us and the earth.

pictures: shrines of remembrance near 'ground zero' new york city. spring 2002


8 comments:

Junk Thief said...

Nice shrines and words of remembrance on this dramatic day.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm not sure how our paths crossed, but I like your triptych of blogs.

Laney said...

I therefore think that the concept of violence is now unsuitable.

wiseman.....I wish he and Bush could go camping for a week together...making the Dalai Lama would rub off on him.....

Laney said...

...maybe the dalai lama would rub off on him......proof read...proof read......

John Eaton said...

Your images and lines conjur a place of peace.

John

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Wise words, as always, from the Dalai Lama - would more subscribed to his hope for a nonviolent society.

The question I always want to ask regarding 9/11 is this - and it is rhetorical: "Does anyone ever stop to consider what drove those who destroyed the WTC to commit such an act?" There is always cause and effect, events do not happen in a vacuum. We seem to forget that there was a reason for terror and perhaps that is where we should start. I do not condone the 9/11 attacks, I abhor what happened, it was senseless and baseless and what has followed in its wake has been the same. But are we willing to understand why the attacks occurred in the first instance.

jude said...

violence is always wrong, no matter what caused it.
compassion for those who indulge in it is the only solution.
thank you.

lettuce said...

thanks for this sane and compassionate post kimy.

kimy said...

jt - thanks for dropping in on the mouse. enjoy junk thief (found though a comment click of a mutual cyberbud - gary I think). love shaky town so thanks helping me have the vitual visit and 'putting me up'!

laney - yes the wisest!! HH will be on a tour to the US this fall - he's to be in bloomington again - not too far from where you live, you can find the schedule of talks on the dalai lama's link on the mouse... hey, I'm always zipping off comments unproof read - so no worries! (otherwise we'd be on the computer way too long!)

je thanks ;)

av - I know the question is rhetorical, but I always have a couple cents - people can become 'victim' to inflammatory and hatemongering influences especially when such great inequalities exist in the world. things get very problematic when the epistemology of understanding the world is viewed in US vs THEM terms. if people believe the 'thems' of the world are responsible for the misery that exist, then OY all sorts of shit can happen and if there are individuals who feel that violence can be justified then we're looking as MEGASHIT..... but in I believe there IS NO JUSTIFICATION for violence and terror. thanks for the thoughtful comment I'm sure we're on the same page....

jude and let xxalways