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How would you respond to tragedy? Do you have the strength to survive a crisis?
It was business as usual until the lights went out. People were
scurrying around doing their jobs and paying little attention to the
lights above them. That is, until the lights went out. It was
without warning that darkness came over a huge chunk of America
leaving a society in wonder over what could cause such a disaster.
Was it terrorism? Was it someone’s fault? All those affected knew
was that it was dark and in darkness your mind can create visions
that ordinarily would be tossed away.
“In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a
dark wood where the straight way was lost.”
Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321),
Think for a moment of the plight of those millions of people. Put
yourself in their place just for a moment. What would be going
through your mind? Would your thoughts be peaceful or would the
seeds of panic run through your mind? Could you see beyond the
present moment into that changed world around you that moments
before was so familiar? Did you become lost, disoriented, and sad or
did you stop to understand what had happened and use that knowledge
to create your innermost thoughts?
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973)
I had that experience on September 11, 2001 when my wife and I were
flying to Florida. Our plane landed in Atlanta and we were told to
leave the plane and enter the terminal. Unknown to us our world had
changed in an instant and my mind had to make quick adjustments to
the events as they transpired. We were stranded without luggage in a
strange town in the midst of a surreal event with nowhere to go.
Every form of transportation was closed and we were alone –
“How many of our daydreams would darken into nightmares if there
seemed any danger of their coming true !”
Logan Pearsall Smith (1865 - 1946),
So many movies are made of wars and tragedies that you become numb
to the probability of their coming true . That is, until you are
thrust into the middle of that very nightmare. How your perception
changes and your mind becomes alert to all that is around you. You
have a choice of calm or of panic. Which would you choose? Can you
sense how you would feel?
“It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our
No one can really know how they would react to such situations until
they experience that moment of unknowing. However, you can be sure
of one thing – there is a strength inside all of us that becomes
known the moment we experience that feared moment. It is a strength
that has no limit and one that is instilled within us the moment of
our conception. It is that same strength that propels us toward the
distant light during birth and that same strength that allows us to
face a peaceful death.
“Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat
is possible - not to have run away.”
Dag Hammarskjold (1905 - 1961)
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|Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
|Excellent article. With the family unit broken down, who teaches strengths these days, or survival techinques. I see too many people fold at the slightest hint of adversity. How fortunate for you to have made it safely to the ground. I haven't been on a plane since 9-11.|