Sunday, September 11, 2011

ten years ago

Ten years ago I was waking up to yet another day of job searching.  I was living in an illegal basement apartment at the time.  Life just seemed hopeless.  I had no job, no money and no job prospects. (Little did I know I would experience this several more times over the course of the next ten years)

I turned on my 13" TV to watch the news just like every other morning.  Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary until I tuned into ABC News.  Peter Jennings was reporting on a hijacked place flying into the World Trade Center.  The tower itself looked like a burning smokestack.  Holy crap.  All the other major networks were reporting the same thing.  Then I watched in horror as another plane hit the other tower on live television.

I spent ten hours in front of the TV that day watching in utter disbelief.  The grounded planes in Newfoundland were a sight to behold.  The thing that struck me the most was the quiet skies.  My apartment was in the flight path of Pearson Airport so I used to hear planes overhead all the time.  On that day the skies were eerily silent.

To this day it all seems odd to me.  Almost 3000 people died for no apparent reason.  They were people from all over working away on a Tuesday morning; some at the water cooler, others at the photocopier, others still in meeting rooms.  In a nanosecond a plane enters where they were working and explodes.  Just like that.

Being the curious person that I am, I wanted to know more.  I read newspapers and watched endless newscasts (even CNN which I despise).  I scoured the Internet for answers.  My burning questions have yet to be answered.  How is it possible that all these planes veered off course and no defensive action was taken?  How is it possible the PENTAGON let this attack happen?  Where's the plane wreckage from the Pentagon crash?  Where's the plane wreckage from the Pennsylvania crash?

Let me be clear.  The loss of life from 9/11 was a tragedy full stop.  No one had to die that day.  NO ONE.  It's just there are things from this event that still raise questions in my mind.  Our lives have been forever changed as a result of that Tuesday morning.  We look at Middle Eastern peoples with fear in our eyes.  We think another attack is imminent.  We look at our neighbour and wonder if they are with "them".  The mere sight of a mosque or Muslims praying generates rage, resentment & fear.  People were selling t-shirts & other patriotic merchandise for profit knowing full well that these items would sell.

Are we fighting terror still or is there something else we need to fight?  I do feel the war on terror ended years ago.  As a human race we don't think of fighting intolerance, ignorance, hatred and injustice.  Gandhi asked all of us to be the change we want to see in the world.  Let's just be just that.

Friday, September 2, 2011

death is all around

Feels like everywhere I turn someone has passed away.  Last night I found out my auntie died of cancer.  Her situation was similar to Jack Layton's - she had breast cancer, recovered after a mastectomy and an identified type of cancer came back.  My auntie was 55 years old.

Being surrounded by death makes me really take stock of my life.  Am I just pissing it away?  Am I taking care of myself?  Am I going to live out my dreams?  The one thing that keeps going around in my head is that life is indeed too short.  We've all heard it before - pursue your dreams, always use the good china, etc etc etc.  I'm here to tell you these just aren't clich├ęs... they're reality.  If there is something in this life that you always wanted to do, ain't no time like this time.  DO IT.

I've decided to live my dream of owning & operation my own business.  I do not belong in the corporate world.  Plus Ethan & I want to secure a prosperous future for our family.  It's insanity to rely on multinationals for this as the economy is so volatile at the moment.  Besides, why work like a dog for someone else?

Life is short.  If you gotta let people in your life go, let them go.  Stay healthy.  Be wary of chemicals in your foods & cosmetics.  Be wary of cancer charities that spend a lot of money on advertising & events - chances are your donation is going to buy t-shirts & ribbons instead of funding actual cancer research.

One more thing, folks - be informed.  Know what's going on around you & how things affect you & your world.  Don't take everything you see & hear at face value.  Engage in meaningful conversation & discussion.  Have an opinion & stick to it with conviction.