Sixteen years ago, the people of the United States came together as one to rebuild after a heinous attack on New York City. Our hearts were broken, but not our spirits.
Today as we commemorate 9/11/2001, we are again faced with heartbreak and disaster that is more widespread than an attack in the heart of a major city. Hatred between religious beliefs, bigotry, street violence, violence in the workplace and in our schools, political derision—all things from which our forefathers fought to give us freedom have resurfaced in their ugliest forms. Only today, we now also have drug epidemics on our streets, overcrowded prisons, corporate espionage, massive corporate fraud against people who have entrusted their personal finances in institutions that are now revealed as places of ill repute. We’ve gone so far that today we even point fingers between parents, children, and grandparents as boomers, Xers, millennials, and now Gen Ys enter the workplace and in our communities.
Each year, millions of people are injured and survive violence in the United States, at home, in the streets, and in places of employment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.5 million people are hospitalized, 26.9 million people are treated in emergency departments and released each year, and individuals who are victims of violence are often faced with life-long mental, physical, and financial problems. How do we stop this widespread disease that is costing our country over $670 billion* annually?
You and I can’t do it alone. Or can we?
In the past few years and recent hours, we have experienced earthquakes, floods, droughts, crop infestations, wild fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes which have left millions of Americans homeless and without sustenance to survive. The financial burden of Irma and Harvey alone is currently estimated at $360 billion**. That figure does not reflect medical care and long-term effects of PTSD and other illnesses that will manifest as a result of the trauma. It does not reflect the effects of mold and mildew growing everywhere it can get a footing, or sewage floating, disease, or the potential of new diseases evolving from the rapid duplication of insects and non-human predators in the midst of decay and destruction. And in an era of new awareness of natural environmental protection, where will we dispose of the waste caused by destroyed buildings and material possessions?
There are too many issues to even bring forward here, in this brief overview, but the consequences are nearly unfathomable. The rest of the country will feel the effect of just these two major storms in food costs, fuel costs, and shortages of all nature as we move forward. We cannot blame these events on one another, even if you are a proponent of global warming, an opponent of GMO food development, or of differing political positions. It isn’t realistic. And those whom we have elected into office at the judicial, local, county, state and national levels will make mistakes. They will make decisions with which we don’t agree; as will company leaders. Or closest friends, neighbors, and relatives will be experiencing stress of which they have never seen and they will behave in ways we cannot anticipate; we won’t know what to do when these behaviors arise. And we personally, may experience any of the aforementioned.
The fact of the matter is that this great nation of ours went into these natural catastrophes weakened by the chaos we, ourselves have created or allowed to happen, or in which we have participated. It is time to turn off the pundits and talking heads that shape our thoughts to their own gain. It’s time to wake up and take responsibility for our personal actions and do something productive for the greater good. It’s time to reach out with acts, not just our voices and our monies. It’s time to live by, “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” And if those with whom you associate or to whom you listen cannot adhere to this standard, walk away, don’t engage on Social Media, or turn them off. Stop the name calling, stop the rhetoric. It may not seem like much but it is something over which you have direct, immediate control.
History repeats itself time and time again. When two warring ships at sea are suddenly attacked by a third or common enemy, they will come together to fight together. It is now time for this country to fight together to save our brothers and sisters, our cities, our livelihoods and a way of living for which we all strive. It’s not a matter of making American great, it’s a matter of healing the wounds and making America healthy if we are going to survive.
God bless America.
* Centers for Disease Control. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/overview/cost_of_injury.html
** Enki Research as reported by CNN. http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/10/news/economy/hurricane-Irma-Harvey-economic-damage/index.html
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By KimAileen White, MA | September 11, 2017. All Rights Reserved.