What is normal?
For the last two days I have been struggling to get my mind and feelings back to normal. It's a hard task with two TV sets in the house, each which seem to becon me to come watch and engulf myself more and more into this tragedy. I'm hundreds of miles from New York, and yet the TV has me feeling as if I'm there. It's not a good feeling.
So I turn off the TV and turn to the Internet. There too it is difficult to get away. If you read the news accounts from the mainstream press it seems that all that Dubya says is that we are at war. I have to remind myself that print journalists have a habit of repeating the same quotes over and over again to inflate their articles. They make what Dubya said once seem to be said again and again and again.
But amongst all this doom and gloom there are small bits of normalcy. Last night while my wife helped man a Red Cross donation call center I rented movies. Blockbuster was very busy last night, and while I was there to entertain myself, I felt for the parents who where there, clearly looking for some way to entertain their children.
Children... what is going through a childs mind right now? A teenagers? What must it be like to be a parent now?
Today I actually managed to do some writing. This has not been a good week for getting things done on the book. Today was the first time this week I managed to get myself to do some work. Honestly, it felt good.
Then this afternoon I spent two hours with ten other people talking about Pocket PCs. No airplanes, no war, no news.. just Pocket PCs, it felt almost normal.
Life will get back to normal. It won't be the same as before September 11, 2001, but perhaps that is not bad. Right now there is a tremendous amount of pride in this country. A certain amount of connectedness to what my grandparents must have felt during World War II. It's almost surreal. I recall history books in high school describing the country as it prepared for and participated in war. Up until now that was merely words on a page in a text book. Now some of those words are coming to life. There is even some talk about how quickly auto plants could be converted to build tanks and other weapons of war.
Amongst the stories of heroism and pride there are far too many stories of hate. One Arab teenager in a local high school was surrounded by a mob of other teenagers calling him names. Can anyone dare say there is not a problem with racism in the United States? Will you consider the possibility that racism is what has gotten us into this mess?
David Rogers: "The other day, it seems so long ago now, Scoble considered what he was willing to die for. I suggested the more important question is what one is willing to live for. I think we saw the difference on Tuesday. The firemen who perished doing their duty did so because that is how they chose to live. It was not up to them whether they would die or not, that was up to God. The men who hijacked those planes, they chose how to die. Dying's easy, it's living that's hard."