Thursday, September 13, 2012
What I Remember, Sept. 11
Last night Steve Stucky, abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, gave a dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm. Mostly it was related to our self-proclaimed Food Awareness Month but he did start out by calling on us to take a moment to recognize the anniversary of the September 11 attack in New York. He recognized the trauma that happened and the impact it had on many people. What he also said that really resonated with me is that it was a significant event AND insignificant. I'm not sure, some people may find that to be hurtful or blasphemous even but I feel it rings true. I find it is true for many reasons but one of the reasons, and this comes up for me every year, is in what we often forget or don't say when we invoke the tragedy. We forget or choose not to acknowledge that things of this nature happen in other countries every day. Many people live in fear and trauma every day. And sometimes the United States and its military are direct contributors to this fear. We know this fear, maybe because we have felt it ourselves or at least because we have seen other people express it. We call the people that hijacked the planes terrorists I guess because they are trying to invoke terror but to people outside the United States we may be considered the terrorists. And they would not be wrong. Part of our military offense/defense is to invoke terror into the governments and people of other countries so they do not even consider retaliating or attacking our soil. What scares me is that many people see no coincidence between the attacks in New York and our actions abroad. Do unto others as you'd have done to you. Note, that it isn't the same as "eye for an eye," but "do to or for others what you would want done to you."