Saturday, March 5, 2011
On September 11, 2001 the world was in shock. However the following day presented a scary situation even closer to home. This was one of the two days I experienced great fear. There isn't a need to talk about the exact details but let me say that in a public place there was an announced lock-down as we began to hear sirens. Given the terror of the day before, we were extremely on edge. I remember thinking of all the possibilities. Had the tragedies of the previous day continued? How was I going to reach my children who were thirty miles away? I did not even have a cell phone. (I bought my first one soon after). For the first time in my life I felt completely helpless. My fear centered around how I could get to my kids. That is all I selfishly wanted to do.
The situation was eventually resolved without incident but for about 45 minutes I felt I had no control. Despite my fear, I learned that I take it upon myself to keep people’s emotions in check. I hid my fear with humor and allowed the group of people I was with to remain calm. The people I was with recognized my leadership and yet they immediately wanted to protect me from harm in return.
The second day I experienced intense fear was two years later in the fall of 2003. Of this day I cannot say much without bringing the emotions back. For now I will simply say that a person of some trust proved to be otherwise. Within hours of discovering that this person was a con man, the security of my family was in great risk. I acted so quickly to protect us that a coworker remarked, “That guy did not know who he was dealing with, did he!?” Again I learned that when pushed to the test, I take charge. No one messes with me when my family is involved. However, it was on this day that I realized that no matter how much you try to live a good life, being honest and true, no matter how hard you work to stay away from evil, it can sometimes find you. A family’s safety and well being can be shaken. However, I ultimately learned that day that when you strive to be a decent person, you are surrounded by numerous good people who truly will have your back.
Although I am not so naive to believe that I will not have any more days like these two in my future, I don’t wish to see another anytime soon. I do not wish any day of such fear on anyone. But I do believe that things happen for a reason and if I may guess to find reason here, I do think these two days served to show me that I do have solid quantities of courage and wisdom to fight any fears that may come my way. And I have good people around me who jump quickly to help protect me. I only have so much control in this world and I can accept that, but I’ll do battle when I must. Win or lose, I’ll confront fear. I’ll even write about it...a little.
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” --Og Mandino