The world changed on September 11, 2001.

It’s not that the world is any more dangerous than it was before; it’s just that we’re intimately more aware of the evil and danger that exists.

What can we make of all this? Opinions abound, but we all hope that this horrible tragedy will provide some meaning.

The fact is we cannot change what occurred. No finger-pointing, no second-guessing, no what-ifs can alter what happened. As in all events, we have no control over the past.

What we DO have control over is how we react, respond and change in the wake of these tragic events.

I’m not just trying to put a positive spin on things. I, in no way, mean to trivialize or philosophize away the grievous loss of life, the substantial property destroyed and the inevitable negative impact on the global economy.

But we must go on. We must learn what we can from what’s happened and we must do what we can to make our world and our lives better as we recover from this catastrophe.

The terrorists did not just destroy buildings. They did not only kill large numbers of people. They attacked our business--YOUR business. They attacked our country. They attacked a way of life. They attacked the largest symbol of freedom and liberty the world has ever seen.

The perpetrators of this attack on the free world may have been successful in their strike. But they also did something they didn’t expect. This horrific loss of life accomplished something that no diplomacy has been able to do--unite the world in a common cause. Never in history have so many nations banded together to denounce terrorism.

In attempting to weaken and discourage America, the terrorists have actually strengthened us. They have galvanized our resolve and awakened a patriotic fever that many of us feared was gone.

We have before us an opportunity unprecedented in the history of the world. We have the chance to make the world safer, more interconnected and eventually more peaceful. Freedom has never been cheap, but I believe the citizens of the world are prepared to pay whatever price is required.

More and more people will see that we are truly one world, one people. We have our differences, yes. We have different cultures, of course. We look different to one another, sure. But we’re all traveling through the cosmos on the same spacecraft and we can’t destroy part of the ship.

I believe that this can be not only America’s finest hour but the world’s as well. It’s up to every one of us to work together. It’s up to each of us to visualize true world peace. It’s up to all of us to do all we can to make Earth a better, safer more abundant home for everyone.

As in all things, it’s not what happens to us, but rather what we do about what happens to us that makes the difference. We must grieve, but we must also feel and think and then act based on clear thinking.

As we ask the leaders of other countries to stand up and be counted, we are individually called to stand up as well--for freedom, security, understanding and diversity. I believe we are being asked to dig deep within ourselves to draw forth the best that’s within us.

It’s in every one of us to transcend this awesome challenge and emerge with a better world. Let this something we look back upon not only as a time of great tragedy but also as a great triumph.

Related Articles:
Blessing in Adversity (see how a pestilence turned out to be a "blessing in disguise".)

Reflections on Sept 11th, 2001 Click "We Will Remember" Card (send it to your friends),%202001.htm

Author's Bio: 

Copyright 2001 Michael Angier & Success Networks International. Michael Angier is the founder and president of Success Networks. Success Net's mission is to inform, inspire and empower people to be their best--personally and professionally. Download their free eBooklet, KEYS TO PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS from Free subscriptions, memberships, books and SuccessMark Cards are available at