September 11 has a powerful meaning for every American, but as a lifetime New Yorker, I vividly recall the acrid stench of the electrical fires drifting forty miles from Ground Zero to my home in Huntington, and the shock we felt at being so violated right in our backyard.
But more importantly, I remember what happened on September 12 – an instantaneous coalescence, a pulling together of all New Yorkers, and indeed all citizens, in the face of adversity. The rage was stunningly and remarkably replaced by a feeling that if we ever needed to forget our differences and work as a cohesive unit, that was the time – and that’s exactly what happened. Rescue workers scoured the wreckage for survivors and for personal effects to return to the bereaved families, and no one cared about color, socioeconomic status or political affiliation – we needed all hands on deck. Everybody’s energy, compassion and determination were required to transcend that awful tragedy.
All Americans felt the pain of invasion in our hearts, and as such, our response was visceral, organic, and potent. We mourned the dead, we comforted the wounded, we cleaned up the mess, and we vowed to never again allow such a vile transgression – and we largely succeeded. It was not politics that facilitated that resolution, it was commitment and love – love for our country, love for our fellow humans, love for a principle of freedom that is at the core of our national pride and heritage.
I remember September 12, 2001 as a demarcation point where we decided to act as one, e pluribus unum. And I keep waiting for the September 12 phenomenon to occur now, almost twenty years later, where the conditions have deteriorated past the point of recognition. Partisan conflict, rampant disease, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, murder, hate, anger and fear are the orders of the day – are we destined to limp into the finish with a vague shadow of our dignity preserved, or can we rise to the occasion and demonstrate what it is truly like to be a patriot in the Twenty-First Century?
When the chips are down, we must realize that we are all in this together, and who is right is much less important than what is right. As we move relentlessly toward 200,000 dead and many more to come, we must do something rational to improve our situation – and nothing makes more sense than an all-out push to become healthier as a nation. The statistics are humiliating, how poorly the health of the average American stacks up compared to even many less developed countries. This pandemic has manifested as sixty-three consecutive 9/11’s and counting – now what?
The reactive, reductionist, artificial, mechanistic outside-in approach of Organized Health has fallen short of the mark, and will often fall short, because it often misses the point. Like most important things in life, like love, happiness, and success, health is an inside-out experience, and while the authorities are scrambling to find external answers like vaccines and drugs, people are dying, and probably will continue to die for a while. We can do something about that.
Take a stand – not on provocative and controversial claims, but on what we know to be true. Healthy people do not generally succumb to COVID-19, and so, we need to usher people toward a new reality where the problem is not battling a bug, it’s understanding why some are vulnerable, and some are not. When we crack that code, and use it to improve our neighbors’ resistance and resiliency, the rising tide will float all the boats – September 12, 2020 style.
Am I dreaming that there could be such a revolution? Perhaps, but every important advance began as a dream – please dream with me, and let’s turn the tide toward things natural once and for all.
Dennis Perman DC, for The Masters Circle Global
PS As the world awakens, don’t go to sleep – prepare to lead. Work together. Be loving. Do good.