Ask Alexandra – October 2001
Special October Thoughts for 2001:
Ironically, I have seen so much love, generosity and courage in the last two weeks. I am sure it was there before, but I hadn’t noticed. It takes something horrible to happen for us to appreciate the everyday beauty around us, doesn’t it?
On September 11, I went to give blood at the Red Cross and there was a line out the door. People, waiting patiently for 3 hours to donate because they so wanted to help out. I had cried so much that day at the suffering human beings had caused, and now I cried to see how generous humans can be. I read about the rescue workers from all over the country who are working unceasingly to clear the rubble in New York, and I cry in awe, because they don’t give up, even though it is exhausting, depressing work and they miss their families back home. My friend Tom Spath gave $100 to a fund for victims’ families, even though he doesn’t have a lot of money to spare, and I think how big the human spirit is, and how lucky I am to have such caring friends.
Today, I was in a traffic jam because there were people demonstrating for peace up ahead. In our cars, we patiently waited as hundreds of the placard waving activists crossed the road. I didn’t even mind that I was stuck there, because I felt honoured to live in a country where we can disagree with our government. I think the other drivers else felt the same way, as no one else seemed irritated. It was the first time in my life that I had a big smile on my face in a traffic jam. Since September 11, I have thought a lot about Love. I have not thought much about revenge or retaliation (therefore some people will think I am unpatriotic), because I am filled up with all the courage and kindness I read about in the newspaper and see around me. In their last moments, many victims were able to get to a phone, and they called their loved ones to say “I love you”. At the end, that was all that was important. Love.
I want to be able to be more loving in my everyday living. No heroics, just small acts of kindness that no one need know about. Just thinking about how to be more loving centers me and slows down the frenetic pace of endless errands that often is my life. If I am more loving, wont that make that world that much more peaceful?
Being a vegetarian is helping. I no longer consume milk products, and I am more at peace because of that. I am not participating in the factory-farming-torture of cows. I hope my peaceful feeling is radiating out, although no one has mentioned that yet. Out of this tragedy, I have learned that there is more beauty in life than ugliness. People all over America have shown that to me. I am so grateful that I can drive freely, speak freely, and that there are no soldiers in my neighborhood. I never thought about that before. I am so grateful that Ian is in my life and that my family loves me.
Will you read Mark Twain’s The War Prayer? Extraordinary. It is a poem he wrote that he asked not to be published in his lifetime, as he felt it would be too controversial. It is very apropos for America at this moment.
Take care, all of you,