Anyone over the age of 25 will always remember where they were on 9/11 in 2001. That was the day our sense of safety and blissful ignorance of global terrorism was shattered.
It was a normal Tuesday work day. At the time, I was a lead for a large state-run project — with a large contingent of IT consultants, with origins from all over the globe, including New York, China, Pakistan and India. As I came out of my early morning meeting, we found the entire staff huddled around a small black and white television that someone had brought in. I found a seat, and got ‘up to speed’ with what was happening– just before the first tower fell.
I will never forget the sensation of sitting in that room with colleagues from all around the world, reacting with horror as we watched the second tower fall. We were facing an uncertain and frightening new reality.
Fast forward to Election night, 2016, when I felt the same mixture of horror and disbelief. Only this time, it was not an outside evil inflicting violent radicalism and hate upon innocent citizens; this time the radicalism and message of hate has come from within. As with 9/11, we are again facing an uncertain, yet frightening, new reality.
The dynamics behind a Trump presidency and the alt-right movement represents a national cancer that has been underestimated and untreated for too long. We became complacent in our confidence that a racist, misogynist, mocker of the disabled and assaulter of women; could not possibly be elected to our country’s highest office.
We were fools.
We still have a moral imperative to stop Trump. Having failed to keep him out of office; we are compelled to tirelessly resist his policies of fear and hate. We are compelled, more than ever, to demonstrate kindness, support and love–especially in the face of mockery, injustice and fear.
Particularly in this season of post-election and pre-inaugeral limbo: it is a great time to ponder on how we personally can get more involved and seek ways to be kind, supportive and helpful to others.
As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. (BTW – that is what George W. was trying to say here).