Of course, today is September 11th. Who, in America, doesn’t give pause for reflection on this day. It marks the terrorist attack by Al Qaeda on America. A number of planes were hijacked and used as weapons. The first two passenger planes were crashed into New York’s World Trade Towers. This resulted in the deaths of 2,606 people. The Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked a third passenger plane and crashed it into the Pentagon causing the deaths of 125 people. Finally, there was a fourth plane taken. An attempt was made by passengers and crew to retake control of that plane. It crashed in Pennsylvania, and killed all 64 people on board.
We all remember that day, and show our respect for the lives lost. Everyone has been reporting, writing on this today. So I won’t go any further. What I did notice last night on Facebook, was an overwhelming number of “new” memes which said, generally, “18 years ago today, 3,000 people would be spending their last night with their family. Think about that for a while.”
It did make me think, in fact. It made me wonder the exact number of people this is true for, every single day this planet turns around once.
So. Each day, on Planet Earth, 151,600 people die. That works out to be 6,316 people dying each hour, or 105 people each minute. (Of course, our birth rate is more than doubling that figure, which is equally as troubling.)
Most of those deaths go unnoticed by the most of us. But, there are the sad, sad times, when that statistic becomes an extremely close and personal part of our lives. An event we never forget.
Those 151,600 people dying each day, on Earth, is a very hard thing, each day, for a multitude of people. Life is precious. Death is a transition. The thing none of us know for sure, is what that transition looks like once “this” life is gone.
The “precious” part, we all know, and are aware of. Yet, sometimes it is easy to get swept up in the mundane, or the volatile, or the worrisome. Or one hundred other things. The swirl of the every day ticking and tocking of things, knocks us around. There are times during the day when things might feel downright miserable, depending on the situation we are in.
Yet. What noble and amazing creatures we would be to remember the “precious” in those moments. To think about the gift that all of this is. Truly. To appreciate, even the most jaded of moments. To show kindness when there is none. To give thanks when all else is being scorned. To cause peace when everyone around is swirling. How splendid, and truly precious that would be.
I write this, directed at my own self. I am in a frequent brush with anxiety. But I am learning, slowly, to give thanks at all those times, even if it feels like sinking in quicksand.
Today is a good day for us to remind ourselves about the “precious” — as is every day — a cherished, and valuable thing. No matter the date.
“May you live every day of your life.”
― Jonathan Swift
“Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”
― Isaac Asimov, Foundation
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
― Albert Einstein, The World as I See It