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When the Dust Settles

The events of the past couple weeks have changed the world. Two things particularly amaze me: The magnitude of the tragedy caused in such a short period of time, and the incredible response to this horrific event from people around the world.

September 11, 2001 will be remembered as a tragic day in U.S., and indeed world, history. And yet history will also recognize this period as a time when the free world united in time of need. Blood donations at an unprecedented rate. Hundreds of trucks filled with clothing and supplies. Children in schools collecting pennies, and corporations matching their donations. Prayers and support from around the world. Political parties dropping partisan ways, and governments joining together. The reaction to the tragedy might be more extraordinary than the events themselves.

I wonder what will happen when the dust settles…

What will happen once the rubble is cleared, when the television cameras are gone, when September 11 is no longer at the forefront of our thoughts?

Yes, life must go on. And, obviously, the world will not continue to dwell on these events like we have the past two weeks. But I hope that this tragedy will be a wake up call to transform our lives, to become more aware of life around us, to become more caring and considerate of others, and to love one another unlike ever before. I hope that we will have a deeper understanding of the frailty of life, and that our actions will be altered in response to that understanding.

What will happen in your life, when the dust settles? It is my hope that tremendous good will continue to result from the tragedy that caused so many to take action in the last couple weeks. Here are several examples of how we can continue to respond positively, even after the dust settles:

  1. Do something for others. The time and money contributed in the past two weeks has been unprecedented. Keep giving, in big ways and little ways. Donate clothes and/or money. Volunteer your time, even if it’s an hour per month. Send a card to a friend.
  1. Do something for yourself. No matter how busy you are, take time for yourself. Every day. Enjoy the simple things, like reading a book. Or do something you’ve always wanted to do, like take a class.
  1. Forgive others. Grudges and grievances are unhealthy emotional baggage. Let go of it, so you can get on with your life.
  1. Give yourself a break. We are sometimes overly critical of ourselves, and this can be very detrimental. Do the best you can, and be okay with that.
  1. Know what’s really important, and who matters. Is the way you live your life consistent with what you say is important to you, and with whom you say matters most in your life? If not, then determine how to get from where you are to where you want to be.
  1. Take care of unresolved issues. If you don’t have an estate plan, get one! If you’ve wanted to say something to someone, then say it. Don’t leave anything to chance. Get it handled.
  1. Give yourself the gift of happiness. Happiness is a choice, and it’s available to everyone. Make the shift from “achieving to be happy” to “happily achieving.”

Have you made positive changes recently that will now become a regular part of your life? If so, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you!

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