The Heart of Who We Are...
This post has nothing to do with allergies. It's about today. Every September 11th, I get that awful pang in the pit of my stomach that brings me back to that snapshot of time in 2001. On that day when we lost so many innocent lives, our country saw evil, in it's most potent form, stare us in the face. We got the taste of the worst of humanity in that moment, and time has not diminished that reality for me as I think back on that day. But, on this September 11th, 2017, our country faces yet another challenge in the midst of the inevitable heaviness that we all feel. Just off the heels of destruction and hearts broken in Texas, nature's fury has unleashed itself once again on my home state of Florida. Millions more are waking up this morning and assessing their road forward following Hurricane Irma. Yes, surely for those impacted in Texas and Florida - but also for those of us just watching from the outside - this is day feels heavier than normal this year.
But, you know what is just as striking for me? In the midst of this type of tragedy and darkness, there's a light that appears so brightly that it can't help but seep through. We see it every time the devastating realities of life on this planet nearly knock us over. There's not a moment when I haven't witnessed the beautiful juxtaposition that occurs when the very best of us - the heart of who we are - shines just a bit brighter than the worst of what the world throws our way.
On September 11, 2001, it was the heroism and selflessness demonstrated by the first responders and ordinary citizens who risked - and in countless cases, gave up - their lives for strangers around them. It was Democrats and Republicans locking arms on the Capitol steps, singing "God Bless America" and demonstrating the type of unity and solidarity that brings out the very best in our country. It's the people throughout Georgia and cities across the United States who have opened their homes to their Floridian friends and family members evacuating danger this week, without even blinking an eye. It's the police officers, fire fighters, doctors and nurses in Texas and Florida who kissed their family members goodbye and walked straight into harm's way because that's the job they selflessly signed up for. It's the hardworking shelter workers, who comfort and feed those who do not have access to their homes; the unpaid volunteers for relief organizations who pick up and travel straight to the tragedy; those in neighboring states who go to the store, load up on supplies and ship them off to people they will never meet. The list goes on.
Yes, the truth is that the heart of humanity... the very best of us... is just too big to summarize in the confines of this blog post, no matter how hard I try. And, there's no place this truth is more evident than in this amazing country of ours. So, on this heavy day - and in these moments of pain around us - let's collectively push back on the hurt with the power of the best of us. Please don't ever forget that the heart of who we are will always shine the brightest in the end.