How has your life changed since 9/11?
More importantly, what have you done to bring more peace and healing to the world since that day?
As you look around today, the world is not a safer or more peaceful place than it was 9 years ago.
We find ourselves embroiled in a bitter war in Afghanistan and other places, and there seems no end to it all.
At the same time, the world struggles with growing inequality, poverty, recession and global warming challenges.
Today there is more angst in the world than ever before. The world seems to be a more dangerous place and we are all more vulnerable to attack, uncertainty and upheaval.
Even nature is more unforgiving nowadays with a string of natural catastrophes.
The saddest part of it all is that we are no nearer to resolving any of the disputes and grievances that led to the 9/11 attacks in the first place.
However on this anniversary, it is time we all realised that multiculturalism does not lead to disintegration – we need to celebrate our differences, not ridicule them or try to destroy them.
In our hearts, we are all people with the same aspirations, hopes and ambitions. We all strive to better ourselves and create a better and secure future for our children.
Remember that Muslims love their children too, just as much as you and I do.
It really is high time that we saw people as people, rather than through their religious ideology.
Ultimately peace can only come if we put our selfish motives to one side and think about the future of our children.
The majority of the people in the world just want to live “normal”, fulfilling and happy lives in peace, with enough for their daily needs.
So you can do you bit from today by being more caring towards all the people all around you.
What grievances can you let go?
Whom can you forgive?
What toxic or negative habit can you let go of?
This is not to say that you let others trod all over you – it is also about respecting your own needs and boundaries and creating your life as best you want it to be.
In the past, I have written a number of articles about inspirational peace figures from the past such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and others.
For the 9/11 anniversary, I have chosen 11 of my favourite articles about peace.
I invite you to look through all of these today or in your own time and apply the peace lessons in your life:-
1. Find peace today rather than one day some day
You can find peace in you today – why wait another day?
2. Let peace begin with me and you
Today is really about taking a step back. Look at your life and see where and how you can bring more peace on an ongoing basis.
Ultimately, if we bring peace around us then it can spread from there.
3. 6 key lessons for life and peace from Mahatma Gandhi
Who better to teach us about peace than Gandhi, the man who taught us the way of non-violence?
4. Lessons in peace from Sammy, also known as Gandhi
One can never have too much wisdom from our inspirational teachers and here are lessons in peace from Gandhi.
5. 6 key life lessons from Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa showed us how to make love and peace your calling. If she can do it, so can you and me.
6. Words of peace and wisdom from an evening with the Dalai Lama
Well, I didn’t quite meet His Holiness but it felt like he was there with me.
7. Dr Martin Luther King – “I have a Dream”
Dr King had a dream for peace – and look what he achieved. We too can dream big and dream about a peaceful and just world.
8. Lessons in leadership from Nelson Mandela.
Mr Mandela – an inspiring world leader and human being for our time – and yet at one time reviled by his government as a “terrorist”.
You and I too can become leaders – that’s what the world needs more than ever before.
9. Let’s all have hope and “asha” for peace
We should never give up “asha” (hope) for peace. Check out this inspirational video and see how the children are our future.
(Readers receiving this article via email – please click here to see the video)
10. Let’s take the peace train to Iran and around the world
Instead of all the war-mongering, let’s take a peace train to Iran and the world.
If you can’t join the train ride, then please do your bit today by sharing this article via Twitter and also Facebook.
11. Feel the fear and change the world anyway
What’s stopping you from taking a stand for peace and unity?
No matter what, feel the fear and take a stand for peace anyway. You know it makes sense.
Just be one of the crazy ones.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs, Apple
The way forward
Today, rather than looking back on the events of nine years ago, let us focus on how we can bring more peace into our own lives, and work from there for peace in the world.
And then maybe the legacy of 9/11 will be to bring us all together for the greater good of all.
So the question to ask yourself on this day is this:-
How can I bring more peace into my life and the world today?
To help you get started, reflect on the following questions and apply in your life:-
What will YOU do to bring more peace into the world?
What will you NOT do?
What peace habit will you apply EVERY day?
WHO will you forgive and let go?
Who or what will you STOP trying to control?
Reflect on the answers to these questions.
You may also want to come up with your own questions and reflections.
To end, here are some words from Dr King which are more relevant than ever before today:-
“Through our scientific genius, we made of the world a neighbourhood, and now through our moral and ethical commitment, we must make of it a brotherhood.
We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. This is what we must learn.
It simply means that every nation must be concerned about every other nation; every individual must be concerned about every other individual.” – Dr Martin Luther King
And remember that it is not just about bringing peace in the world today – it is an everyday, life long practice.
Please join me and let’s make it happen together.
Top image courtesy of Muslimpage
George Soros said something interesting on 9/11 and all the misery that ensued. He said a critical error the American administration made was to call a ‘War on Terror’.
He talks about it in his book Fallibility.
Very simply, the error is to create a war with a nameless, faceless Other; an abstraction, as Soros puts it. And I think this is true.
Having read many of your posts, my sense is one of the central messages you put across is: to de-alienate the faceless Other. To recognise the humanity in all human beings regardless of race or creed.
May the force be with you Arvind.
Stephen, George Soros is clearly a wise man.
I always felt that the world lost a big opportunity to really reach out and seek peace with those who had clearly felt so aggrieved. Calling it a ‘War on Terror’ was simply a challenge for the others to up their game and their terror.
You have put it very nicely about one of my central messages – de-alienate the faceless other, though I would have never thought of explaining it like that.
Yes, we must all strive to recognise the humanity in all human beings regardless of race or creed.
May the force be with all of us!
Arvind, I believe we are on a similar mind path today. I just wrote about the correlation of 9/11 and peace today as well – synchronicity my friend. 🙂
I love the links your provided for additional reading!
You ask some powerful questions, “What will YOU do to bring more peace into the world?” – even just by living more peacefully, we can teach my example and our joint efforts from around the word will ultimately lead us in the right direction – the direction of peace
Aileen, great minds and dare I say hearts, think alike:-)
Actually, do hearts think or feel?
I have just read your very poignant and yet ultimately hope-filled article – thanks for writing such a personal story of that fateful day.
As you said so succinctly, it’s our individual joint efforts for peace that will ultimately lead us in the right direction – the direction of peace.
This is a wonderful post. We so need to hear the message more often that all really want the same things deep down – to live happy lives.
Why do we continue to complicate things? Why is it always us, or them?
Now we hear about a Florida “minister” who is advocating a Koran burning day? What? This is insanity – and the fact that he is a ‘minister” w/a following?
It really saddens me….but, I can go on being sad, or can I choose to spread love and light and brotherhood myself.
I, we, each of us can be a candle that lights the flame for another, who then goes on to light the flame for another. I believe I am that little candle, and you Arvind are another candle, and the readers here are each candles to spread that light.
We can spread the light – and we must spread the light.
Where there is light, darkness cannot exist.
Angela, thanks for all your wonderful words.
We really do need such messages more than ever before. Especially in light of the Florida minister of god, advocating a day of burning the Koran. Insanity indeed.
And he is getting just what he wanted – publicity. Here we are discussing him.
As you say, why is it always us, or them?
Instead of being sad and giving up, we can choose to spread our love and strive for peace in our hearts, our homes, our communities and ultimately the world.
Let us all be the little candles that spread the light – and let our light ultimately light up the whole world.
Hi Arvind! I’m glad to retweet this post. Peace is a good thing to spread. 🙂
If anything good came out of the 9/11 disaster was to make us aware of how much we need peace in this world. It also unified us in many different levels.
Thanks Andrea for the retweet – we can never get enough of peace messages.
Not much good came out of 9/11 but an awareness of the need for peace was definitely something we could all build on.
Let’s hope peace and sanity prevails all around us.
“The saddest part of it all is that we are no nearer to resolving any of the disputes and grievances that led to the 9/11 attacks in the first place.”
You’re absolutely right, Arvind.
As an American, it’s very easy to be ashamed of the way our government responded to the incident in New York City. It was a major incident, of course, but the U.S. reaction made it so much worse.
I wrote this week about how I’m not involved in politics, but there’s one reason I didn’t really mention: I don’t like to clutter my brain with contemplations of what has been done in the name of politics. There has to be a better, more productive use of my mind.
Gip, its really encouraging that there are so many Americans who think like you do and who acknowledge just how things have gone wrong in the last 9 years.
And you are right – far better to focus on positive, productive use of our minds than to get involved in shady politics.
Once again your words inspire.
I’m realizing more and more that the moment is where life is. Each day I remember to simply give love where I can in whatever way I can. And that includes to myself.
Forgiveness is a concept that continues to deepen in me as I recognize that no one really does anything to harm me that I don’t agree to on some level. We dance together and expand and have the opportunity to grow and become more conscious in the process. Sometimes an “ouch” opens us to something we hadn’t noticed in ourselves before.
I love the song – it’s truly beautiful.
Lauren – good to see you here again. You always write in such a positive and upbeat way:-)
I am glad you like the song “Asha for Peace”. It was written by my friend who is also called Asha.
What a great philosophy you have – to remember each day to simply give love where you can in whatever way you, including yourself.
And henceforth I shall welcome more “ouch” moments in my life:-)
Wow Arvind, this is amazing. Thanks for putting this together. You know, when 9/11 hit i was in NYC and it was pretty intense for that day and the months that followed. There is a lot of hurt there still, and a lot of hatred, violence, injustice was perpetrated by the people in the city against one another, and then by out government against millions of innocent people abroad, again…
I shot some amazing footage back then, as i was an independent media activist and cameraman at the time, working hard to try and change the world, and make a difference. Maybe I’ll have to dig it out for the ten year anniversary next year.
I’d say that my commitment has to be in the way i see and interact and engage and take in the world. Not only the way i give, but in the way i receive. When you are open to peace and love and goodness from the word, it grows within, and it seems you create more of that without as well.
With pain that comes from hurt, it blocks the love and peace from coming in. We have those defenses up. I will make more effort to be open to receiving as well as giving the universal love and energy flow. That is my goal. Thanks for the reminder. It’s happening already, and made it possible for me to create my “passion maker” test — i’d love it if you checked it out below, and let me know what you think, or share it with your friends.
Make it happen is my motto for these last two weeks!
~Much love to you and full respect Arvind!
Satya, good to see you here again.
Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your personal story of 9/11.
I was in London at the time and it was just so eerie – the City was a like a ghost town. NYC must have been incredibly painful in those early days after 9/11.
What followed was a sad indictment for all involved and the world is not a safer, better place.
Satya, you must dig out the footage for the tenth anniversary next year. You could create a positive documentary with a hopeful message.
Your commitment to make a difference in the world is really inspiring – being open to peace, love and goodness from the world, it grows within and you certainly create more of the same all around you.
And I shall certainly check out your passion test – thanks so much:-
Satya, go make it happen!
You are such an inspiration, Arvind. Thank you for walking the talk, my friend. xoxo
Thanks Belinda – I am only learning from the likes of you:-)
And once again thanks for writing the guest post above #2 -“Let peace beging with me and you”.
“How can I bring more peace into my life and the world today?” Great reminder.
Thanks for spreading such a positive message Arvind. We need more messengers (angels) like you.
I just wanted to share the poem I posted today on Thought Medicine…
Thanks Linda for all your kind words – and for sharing that beautiful poem.
Here’s the link to the poem again:-
Thank you for the wonderful post, Arvind. What a suitable article as this weekend is also a huge event in the USA – “Power of The Peaceful” in San Francisco.
Here every one of all colours and race unites as one to celebrate PEACE worldwide.
What peace habit will I apply every day? Recognizing and appreciating the truth, beauty, wisdom and divinity in each and every person i come into contact each day – even with a simple hello and smile.
Thank you my friend.
Thanks Jai Kai for sharing about the peace event in San Francisco and also about what you will do to bring more peace in your life every day.
All it really takes is a simple hello and a smile to bring peace to others.
Arvind, thank you for your thoughtful post about peace on earth on this day of 9/11. I pray for all who have passed from this physical life.
For myself, I’ve been thinking more these days about how it all starts inside ourselves. Forgiving ourselves. Forgiving others. This helps me find peace within.
I have also recently taken a course on mindfulness – following a program by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of “Wherever you Go, There you Are” and ” Full Catastrophe Living – Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness.”
I immediately thought about how what I learned could help my kids (ages 7 & 10). If only kids were taught such things in school – taught techniques for emotional health and intelligence, not just math and English.
So in conjunction with Dr. Amy Saltzman (www.stillquietplace.com) who specializes in teaching mindfulness to kids, and the teacher of my son’s 4th grade class, we held a mindfulness workshop in class, once a week for 8 weeks.
Here’s what some of the kids said after the class:
– It helped me and my sister not argue so much (that’s my son speaking:)
– I fight with my brother a lot. It’s like falling into a deep hole. But with mindfulness I can learn to miss the hole and not fall in. Instead I go to my brother and talk to him and he problem is solved.
– Mindfulness helps me when I get angry at someone – or at myself. It’s helped me understand my breathing and I find a still, quiet place.
-I am learning to listen to my feelings
Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for sharing your story at such great length.
As you say, it all starts inside us by first forgiving ourselves and then forgiving others.
It’s amazing how we could transform the world by teaching kids the techniques for emotional health and intelligence that you write about.
I have just checked out the truly inspirational work of Dr Amy Saltzman at http://www.stillquietplace.com/ thanks for sharing that!
Thanks again Marie-Jeanne for sharing your thoughts here. The world needs more people like you:-)
Love, peace and joy
Great post, Arvind, well worth a tweet 🙂 The only way we can have peace in the world is if we all work toward it in whatever way we can.
Thanks Leah for the comment and the retweet – lets bring peace into the world, one tweet at a time!
Arvind: Great post and great message. I really appreciated what you said about reflecting on our personal actions and challenging ourselves to bring peace to the world today. It is so important and if we all do our part, we will really see the difference that results from all of our collective actions of peace. Thanks also for the list and reminder of some of your great posts. They are all so great and I still really remember being moved by the 6 Key Life Lessons from Mother Theresa. You are such a great model for peace. Thanks for all the wisdom and insights you share. I really appreciate them all.
Sibyl, its so true that we can bring peace to the world by reflecting on our own personal actions and challenging ourselves to bring peace to our own world.
And thanks for all your kind words:-)
What we focus on expands so I focus on peace. It all begins with me and for me, inner peace is about forgiveness. My friend Marianne Williamson says if we’re walking and talking we have someone to forgive. Also self-love. I can’t love anyone more than I love myself. As I grow in love for myself, I have more love for everyone. I agree Muslims love their children too.
Tess, wonderful and powerful words of wisdom from you as usual.
Indeed, love for the world begins with loving yourself first.
sadly not much changed since then, I guess many people are maybe more wary of muslim people or wrongly punjabi folks.
America was united during 2001 since then many people in USA with bad economy are hit hard to think positive. I like the message of peace and love in world, hopefully we do not need to experience tragedy to feel the peace or love in future.
Preeti – let’s really, really hope that we don’t need to experience more tragedy to once again feel love and peace in the future.
As I have said before, Muslims (and Punjabi people) are just like you and me.
What a joy to find your blog! Of course, it lights me up because we are so aligned in our thoughts about peace and personal choice. And, you’ll see that my website is contained in the title of this post of yours. Delighted to find you. Let’s share postings and collaborate!
Continue to Sow Peace
Dear Dr Rhoberta,
What a wonderful peace website you have!
Thanks so much for visiting my blog as I have now discovered another person who thinks just like me!
Yes, let’s share and collaborate.
And between us we can sow even more peace in the world:-)