Today is September 11th, and when terrorists struck all of those years ago, I was a recent college graduate trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.  I was living back at home with my parents and happened to be home that morning, and my mom and I watched together with horror as the events of the day unfolded.  Today we remember the lives lost, the brave men and women who sacrificed themselves for others, and all of those impacted in so many ways.  We were unprepared for an attack like that, and I remember so many people talking about how afraid they felt walking around in the days following the attacks.

I also remember the feeling of connection to my country.  I have never been prouder to be an American.  People were united and cared well for one another.  It didn’t matter what our differences were in those moments – we came together for a common cause and we supported our neighbors and fellow Americans.

Last year, there was a pretty major hurricane that hit here in Orlando.  I saw something similar then. Neighbors banded together.  People took care of each other.  If someone had power, they invited others to stay with them until their power was restored.  We shared resources.  We were a community and we were together.

Why does it so often take tragic events to bring us together in these ways?  Is it possible for us to be different people and have different opinions and political leanings and interests and priorities and still love well? Is it possible for us to live like we did in the days after September 11th or after a hurricane without those things having to happen first?

Bob Goff has a quote that says, “Loving people means caring without an agenda.  As soon as we have an agenda, it’s not love anymore.”  As we remember September 11th…as our eastern seaboard braces for a major hurricane to hit in the next couple of days…as life happens in just the day to day living….I challenge all of us to love well, without agendas.  How would that change the fabric of America for the future to come?  Let it begin with us!

~Tiffany Jones, MS, LMHC

Tiffany Jones

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