I happened to be on a conference call about spiritual things on Sept. 11, 2001 that started, for me in San Diego, at 5 a.m. and ended promptly at 6. We were winding up when one of the participants broke in saying something like “Oh my God, a plane just hit the World Trade Center.” Like many I rushed to my TV – yes, I had a TV in those days – and watched the devastation unfold over and over again.
I’m a member of Activist San Diego which is dedicated to peace, social justice and environmental sustainability. Martin Eder, founder and executive director and friend sent the following message to members of that organization on that fateful day:
Terrorism is born of hopelessness. It is an unnatural state of affairs. A social order that has closed the doors on dignity and the possibility of democratic participation is a breeding ground for individualistic and suicidal desperation. A society full of cruelty will produce cruel offspring. A society based on class hierarchies, racial divisions, religious discrimination and national oppression will have no peace. There is peace born of justice and equality. There is also the peace of repression and dictatorship, but this is always a temporary peace.
I in a post on another site of mine I added
I believe that the events of today signal great change and in those moments of change is the opportunity to affirm life and love. I know that we can hold for peace, in ourselves, in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our country and in our world…
As the subsequent decade of persistent war and economic chaos has unfolded I find my opinion hasn’t changed one whit. Martin was right then and he’s still right. “Terroism is born of hopelessness.”
We can change that hopelessness if we have the internal willingness to do so. We still have the opportunity to affirm life and love, we can still hold for peace, starting within ourselves.
It starts with me and with you and with each one of us.
What can I do for peace today? To relieve hopelessness? To step out in love? What can you do?