Friday, September 11, 2009

Teaching forgiveness and understanding

I am not very sentimental or spiritual. I'm a pragmatic, logical, get-down-to-business kind of girl. But today is September 11th and it's one of the few days where I break from this. I said a small prayer this morning and, like most people praying today, I prayed for the families who lost loved ones 8 years ago. But then I prayed for the people who orchestrated the strike. I prayed for their families, supporters, followers and anyone else who believed/believes in their cause. Now, many people may not see it this way but I think they need our prayers just as much, if not more, than the victims of 9/11.

Every year on this day, I think about how much hate had to fill someone that they would agree to join in and/or support the effort to kill thousands of innocent people. I feel for the children who, as I write this, are being taught to hate. And not just children in the Taliban or Al Qaeda but children everywhere. Even in our own U.S. of A. I count myself lucky to not be among the hateful, thanks to mother, who taught us otherwise. But there are members of my very own family who are hateful and so I know how truly sad it is.

This morning for the first time, I realized that now it is my job to teach someone not to hate. My children will never know the tragedy of 9/11 the way we do, having lived through it. But I am sure that they will have questions and fears. Maybe even anger. That is natural and expected. But I will have to make sure that instead of teaching them be angry and hateful and focusing on the "us vs. them", I have to teach them to forgive. Turn the other cheek. I have to teach them that even when we are wronged, we have to practice forgiveness. Because chances are, those wrongdoers are suffering more than we know and probably much more than we ourselves are suffering. It will be responsibility to teach them to understand and empathize with all others, not just people who look and talk and think like us. I have to teach them to be citizens of the world and the task is daunting but it's one of the reasons I took the job.


  1. Amen! I am also bothered by the hate that has extended from 9/11. I hope to teach my children not to perpetuate the cycle.

  2. Great post. As parents, it is up to us to stop the cycle of fear and hate by teaching our kids love and kindness, and to be examples to them. Thanks for reminding me:)


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