Anniversary of 9/11 tragedy

On this solemn day, I’m reminded of a quote from Paul Hawken (of the Smith & Hawken garden supply company, among other things).

“Doom and optimism are twins. One does not exist without the other. The only way you can be truly hopeful about the future is to have a very accurate read on the problems of the present.”

Many people think about the War Against Terror and related efforts with a sense of doom because the task seems insurmountable. I disagree. While our US Empire is crumbling – no argument there – I believe this gives us an opportunity to reposition the international US reputation from a very negative one to a positive one. But it is clearly going to
be a multi-generation effort. And it’s going to be led by folks who are thinking clearly about the condition of country is in today.

According to homeopathic doctors, a human body that has suffered from an illness for X months will require *at least* the same number of months for healing. There is no quick, pharmaceutical-induced pill in homeopathy to fix the body in three days or less.

I believe the same is true of the US reputation among other countries. We’ve spent decades casting ourselves in a certain light through our actions and words. We’ll likely have to spend at least the same number of decades recasting a more positive and sustainable attitude.

Hawken’s commencement speech from this past May is a quick and worthwhile read related to challenging the upcoming generation to continue this positive work. The interesting backstory is that he tossed the speech he had written for the occasion and finished this one minutes before the ceremony itself.