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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In remembrance

Today, as I was driving into work, after I had prayed my daily rosary, I reflected on that terrible day a dozen years ago.  I couldn't help but think how far our nation had gotten away from that date.  For many weeks and months following 9/11, the United States stood in solidarity to grieve for, and honor, those who were rushed to Heaven's gates that day.
I felt an urgency to do something, anything, to remember the compassion and love our nation strived for in the wake of that tragedy.  So this morning I stopped at the Kwik Shop to get my morning pop and breakfast burrito.  Fortuitously, the man behind was also someone I recognized as a regular, so I told the clerk that I wanted to pay for his stuff as well.  The clerk welcomed the offer and asked the man what he had.  That man was a bit confused and I stated again that I wanted to pay for his food.  He asked me why I would want to do such a thing and I said that well, today was Patriot Day and I just felt like I needed to do something for my fellow man to remember that day.  He thanked me profusely as I stood with tears in my eyes.  I was so nervous about doing that, about committing a random act of kindness and I was so focused on remembering that day, that I was actually tearing up over it.  The clerk was a bit taken aback and just told me how cool that was to do.  I said that I had often thought about doing things like that, but sometimes it is hard to put into practice, because you are nervous or embarrassed.  

The reason for this story is simple.  Never forget the compassion and love that come during tragedy because that is what strengthens humanity.  The simple acts of courtesy and kindness that we display to individuals on a daily basis become the bridge that we build to help us connect with people that are strangers, that we find hard to love, that we sometimes gossip about or condescend to, and I don't want to forget that feeling that comes with humility.  Humility in serving your fellow man is absolutely one of the best feelings in the world.  I hope to slowly get better at it every day.  I encourage all of you today to commit to one act of kindness.  It doesn't have to be huge, it doesn't have to be monetary, but I don't want anyone to forget the best intentions that come with remembering love for our fellow man.  Never forget.  We CAN change the world.

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