The 9.11 essay

The 9.11 essay

September 11
There has been much talk about how the events of September 11 changed everything. I don't think they changed the central urgency and relevance of what each one of us does with our life..

I think we're all being pressured by history. How many people have lost their jobs or are re-evaluating their work and lives? Those of us who are concerned about the issues of diversity, coexistence, reconciliation, conflict prevention, understanding and tolerance, peace and justice, will find our life gives us a firm ground to stand on. This is where the action is for the foreseeable and unforeseeable future. Clash of civilizations? War of the worlds? Global discord, intergroup ignorance, suspicion and fear. Many thoughtful people and institutions were studying and addressing those questions long before September 11.

Now the efficacy of tens of thousands of diversity awareness training sessions is put to the test. This is our performance review. What beneficial effect have we had in all these years? We have seen so many people rise to the challenge of the occasion. We have seen the cumulative effect of humanity shining through fire and smoke, we have heard so many people speaking about the importance of peace and understanding.

Two hours on that Tuesday morning are having enormous ripple effects. What if we called this the next level of diversity awareness training? How are we debriefing it? We need to continue. It is a case study for sensitivity training, for strategic planning, for risk assessment, knowledge management, religious understanding. I can't think of an activity that is not affected. Groups may need us to convene and moderate the discussion, to provide guidelines for interaction, to be facilitators. We have numerous opportunities. We can speak about the interconnectedness of people and cultures. We can help to define patriotism in a new way. We can offer ourselves as resources in forums, classes, religious services, panels, talk...

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