Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Courage In Action: Still Alive And Well

Hello everyone. In honor of our fallen fellow Americans of 9/11/2001, I'd like to recount to you two unbelievable acts of courage that I witnessed just yesterday. That's right, yesterday, 9/10/2008.

It was a day that I will never forget. Just as I, and you, will never forget waking up to TV coverage of the World Trade Center crumbling, the Pentagon being kamikasied, and Flight 93 where those people tried desperately to regain control of the plane. May they all rest in peace now.

Yesterday, I woke up to an email from a middle-aged friend of mine who was excited about driving her new, red two-seater sports car - 20 miles! Let's call her, "Gail." Well, I have never seen Gail so excited. She was absolutely thrilled. You see, Gail has a horrible driving phobia. It terrifies her so badly that her husband has to drive her to the store. She never used to be phobic. But, she sure is now. "Bill," even bought her the sports car to try to coax her back into driving. To no avail. Poor Gail. She has been through the pits of hell with constant feelings of worthlessness, shame, and guilt because of this irrational fear. But, yesterday, she did it, she drove that darn car. And, she even took it on the interstate!

Gail has promised to drive the two-seater every day for three weeks, terror or no terror. She is determined to live in freedom once again. Just as the victims of 9/11 were attempting to do.

A few hours afterwards, I arrived at my doctor's appointment. Before I even got out of my car, a handicapped old man with holes in his pants was slowly pulling his wheelchair up the steep parking lot hill backwards. He had a very long way to go.

I was stunned. "In today's age ...," I thought.

He looked to be the kindest, most humble soul you'd ever wish to encounter. Of course, I asked him if he'd like some help. But, he just said, "No, when I'm alone, I have to do this on my own, so I will do it alone now." He kept calling me, "sir," like I was somebody important. He said he'd been in that chair since 2002. Six long years would probably humble me too.

I gave him the name of a social service agency. Hopefully, they can fix him up with a motorized wheelchair.

Like the surviving families of 9/11, he is handling the heavy burdens of past events in his life with humilty, dignity, and poise.

Just unbelievable to me. As I obsess over my little problems, and my own selfish desires, there are so many around me daily who remind me of what true courage is, what true humility is, and true humaneness is, I can't help but wonder how mankind has endured so much for so long just to survive on this rock of a planet we call Earth.

Oh, but for the grace of God, what would we do. What would we ever do?

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