What United Us Can Do So Again

What united us after 9/11 can do so again if we make the effort to reconnect to it–After the 9/11 tragedy, we ceased to be separate groups. We weren’t young and old, blacks and non-blacks, Democrats and Republicans or rich and poor, we were one people. Given the reaction of the world, it can be said we weren’t even Americans and non, we were one people. Now seven years later we stand as divided as we know how to be, not only from other countries, but also from each other. Republicans and Democrats, for example might as well be antagonists rather than citizens with the same nationality, and regardless of who wins next November, the divide is sure to remain. Indeed a spirit of unity connected us after 9/11, a sense we need reconnect to. It may be easier said than done, but it can’t be done unless we learn to recognize what divides us. To do that pondering the difference between our present and ourselves seven years ago may be instructive. We were able to be one people because we automatically understood that there was something stronger than the groups we classify ourselves into, we instinctively connected to an inner reality that heralded our common humanity. It’s not that we forgot there were differences, it’s that in that one instant in the midst of tragedy, we put them in their right place, behind us, and transcended our ideas of what we normally think those differences mean. Short of another tragedy, I can think of no program, no recipe, no book, no amount of money, no one person that could unite us again. But I do believe that each one of us in the privacy of our own heart and conscience can resolve to do what we need to do to reconnect to our underlying unity. If we can–when we do–those who died and those who lost loved ones will then be redeemers.