Jul 02 2012
If you were to ask the population of Americans who are old enough to remember the events of September 11, 2001 you can all but guarantee that 100% of us know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the news of the attacks. And I sit here and think to myself “why is that?” Why is it that a tragedy so great brings about the most in our memory and in many cases our actions?
Remember how unified our country was in the weeks that followed? Remember seeing all the American flags on cars and even the politeness of people? And somehow, in some way, we went right back to being our impatient, pain in the ass, entitled selves. Granted this is human nature and we can’t beat ourselves up about it.
My point is, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were like this all the time? And without tragedy having to bring it out in us? Why is it that the worst somehow brings out the best? Can’t the best bring out the best? Well, it just doesn’t happen nearly enough if you ask me.
In terms of what brings us together the most? Here are five tragedies that do so…..
Death is one tragedy that literally forces people to be together. That’s what a funeral is. We honor the dead by all getting together around the deceased speaking our words and paying our respects. It is in these moments that all family feuds, hatred, and bad blood is forgotten, if only for a moment. It is at these moments we realize our own mortality and are thankful for the lives we have, no matter how hard or easy they are. Death, while horrible, brings about a sense of gratitude and peace that we should strive for even when things are simply “fine.”
When I of war I think of fans at a sporting event. For one moment in time (or an extended period of time) we’re all rooting for the same team. Despite our differences or political affiliations, we’re all just rooting for the USA and for our troops to come home unharmed. Whether we agree with war or not, most of us are on the same team regardless.
Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, you name it. We’ve seen them all in the past 365 days. And the one thing you see following these events are calls to action. Be it a celebrity, political group, charity, or individual contributions, people step up to help wherever they can. Why don’t we do this all year around? Why do we have to wait for an entire town to get wiped out to help places in need?
A Financial Windfall
The economy has been an absolute horror for millions of Americans. But in a way it’s forced us to recognize what’s important in our lives: family, friends, and life itself. When you’re in a financial nightmare who do you turn to? Most people have a support system and that system is needed now more than ever.
Sickness tends to behave in a similar way as death. When a family member is terminally ill, it usually brings together other members of family as a funeral would. Only in sickness people tend to help out, get active, and do what they can to support the person who is sick.
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