Friday, September 11, 2009

A Little Hope on a Dark Day

I’m not really the type to write a blog post about how much I like my friends. First, as you all know, I’m not exactly the warm and fuzzy type. I’m pretty logical. And logic tells me that you all KNOW that I like my friends, because if I 9/didn’t I…well…wouldn’t be friends with them.

But last night, I wrote a short post referring back to my pre-9/11 post last year. That post was all about how sad it was to me that the one positive thing we’d gained from 9/11 had been so quickly lost. In the immediate wake of 9/11, everyone was nice to everyone else and people donated whatever they had and those who were near to the scene reached out in any way they could. Perhaps my view was a little different because of my religion, but in that moment I saw the closest thing I’d ever seen to the world I believe God made—a world in which we were “one body”. And despite the terrible tragedy that inspired it, it was a beautiful, hopeful, affirming thing to watch and to be a part of.

And then we moved on.

Eight years later, we remember the tragedy. We remember the anger, and maybe the fear. We mourn for those lost and maybe even for the sense of security lost, but we don’t seem to remember that we discovered that we were all one people, in this thing together.

While I was lamenting the loss of that feeling and wonderingly vainly and naively (ever notice how close those two words are) why we couldn’t live that way every day, I suddenly thought about my friend Barb Cooper. Because Barb is that person every single day of her life.

You may know this already, because you may read her very popular blog, So, The Thing Is… Barb’s blog is, in a funny, non-preachy, self-deprecating kind of way, all about love: loving her family, her friends, her neighbors, her babysitter, the postman, and the stray cat peeking around the side of the house. Offering them her heart, willing their best good, and greeting every problem with an earnest, “Gosh, how can I help?” It’s an added bonus that she makes us laugh out loud in the process.

She’s a wonderful friend to me every day, but on this sad day, she’s more. As I contemplate the way most of us have drawn back into our shells and reverted to “me and mine” thinking, she’s an inspiration, and a point of hope. They may be few and far between, but there are people out there who live every day as we all should be…and maybe in a quiet, simple way, they’ll be the seeds of sustained change in a way that a national tragedy couldn’t.

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