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:-
You can find peace in you today – why wait another day?
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.
Who better to teach us about peace than Gandhi, the man who taught us the way of non-violence?
One can never have too much wisdom from our inspirational teachers and here are lessons in peace from Gandhi.
Mother Teresa showed us how to make love and peace your calling. If she can do it, so can you and me.
Well, I didn’t quite meet His Holiness but it felt like he was there with me.
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.
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.
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)
Instead of all the war-mongering, let’s take a peace train to Iran and the world.
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