People around the world today are remembering the tragic loss of life and immeasurable threat to freedom that occurred 10 years ago.  Some mourn the loss of friends and loved ones who perished in the attack. Some honor the sacrifice of first responders and emergency personnel that gave their lives to save those at risk. Still others ponder the changes to our fundamental freedoms that have taken place in the years since that dark day in world history.

But this isn’t a post about 9-11.  It’s a post about appreciation for those who walk among us that are striving to create a more loving world where events like 9-11 do not occur.

I believe that the way we create this world is by deciding to do so, in our own lives.

LoveOne of my favorite quotes from JFK is this:

Only you can decide, what you want, what you want this country to be, what you want to do with the future.

You could easily replace the word ‘country’ with ‘world’ in the quote above and it would be just as profound.

We can each decide what we want, and with our choices, we affect the world around us.

We forget this though, and go through our lives giving our power away.

We give our power away to employers, governments, businesses, family members, etc. We think that we’re stuck in our position in life and we settle for what is given to us. Or we just get comfortable and forget that we can change things by changing ourselves.

But this post isn’t about revolt either. No, this is about making conscious choices and the little things we each do in our lives every day that can make the world a more loving place for us all; a world where senseless attacks like 9-11 are unheard of.

I’m certainly not the first person to reflect on the meaning behind the attack 10 years ago. And I’m not the only person pondering the futility of fighting violence and terrorism with more violence and terrorism. But what is the alternative?

I believe that we can begin to answer this question by turning inward and reflecting on our own role in the system. 

We can strive to be more aware of how the world is all interconnected and pay attention to life outside of our immediate surroundings. Like it or not, we all play a role in the global system and we make decisions on what that role means by our actions and our behavior as we go about our lives each day.

We can choose where to direct our attention and thus where to direct our power. When we read and share content that makes us feel good, we give others the chance to feel good as well.

One of the easiest things that we can do to play a positive role is to smile and be nice to those we interact with as we go about our day. It sounds so simple, and it is. By promoting loving thoughts, we create a loving world.

To those whose lives were cut short 10 years ago, I offer this post in your honor. And to those who continue to spread joy in the world each day, I give my heartfelt thanks.

Today, let us ask ourselves what kind of world we want to live in and decide to create that world, here and now.

Are you with me?

Photo: Expression of love in Midtown Atlanta, 2.24.11