As we all know, Sept. 11, 2001 was a terrible day in human history. For one, 2,976 people died in that singular event, and witnessing the buildings collapse live on national television sparked an enormous amount of fear and anxiety within each and every one of us who had no idea what was going on, nor what would happen next.
But, 10 years later, it's time to put this blip on the map of human history in its proper perspective.
To begin with, on average, around 150,000 people die every single day; some from murders, some from malnutrition and disease, some from old age, some from household accidents, some from wars, etc.
Since September 11th, 2001, a half billion people have died, and only a miniscule (almost dismissible in relation to the shear number of deaths in the last 10 years) amount of those have been from terrorists.
Death is very much a part of life and until we can control our irrational fears and impulses related to the inherent horror of our mortality - terrorism will exist, and our responses to vile acts of hatred will be irrationally disproportionate.
Second, a chain reaction of terrible decisions started that day. For one, 18 of the psychopathic murderers were Saudi Arabian and one was Lebanese. Yet, like millions of ants on a trail of conquest, we somehow ended up invading Iraq.
Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden are both dead.
Feel better yet?
As you know, we cut taxes and went to war. These two expenditures alone have raided our financial futures at a rate of $3.1 trillion dollars up front and who knows how much in collateral financial damage. Without even considering the collateral trillions lost, that $3.1 trillion is one billion spent (and/or revenue lost) per person killed on September 11.
Our economy has collapsed, the middle-class continues to shrink (all the while, the top 1 percent of our population continues to accumulate an ever-increasing share of the wealth, and face it, if you are reading this, you are likely not in that top 1 percent.) the so-called Tea Party has taken Washington D.C. hostage, and our schools, roads, and bridges are falling apart.
As the 10-year mark approaches for September 11th, I can't help but look introspectively and think about how pathetic of a bunch we have become (or maybe always were).
If you think we have won (or are winning) this inaptly named "War on Terror" all you have to do is look at the Dow Jones, the unemployment rate, the deficit, your 401k, Jersey Shore and our crumbling infrastructure to see how the vast majority of us aren't winning anything.
September 11, 2001 wasn't only a terrible day because the attacks on the World Trade Center, it was a terrible day because it exposed all that is weak in us as human beings.
If you want evidence of the animal nature of humanity, there is no need to dig in to our DNA and through millions of years of rock and dirt. Simply turn on the nightly news every year for the first two weeks in September (for the rest of our lives) and witness our unabashed shortcomings in all of their glory.
And as you watch, reminiscing on the 3,000 people who died that day (and the needless thousands since) think of the 150,000 people who died just today, or even right now - or the 55 million that died in the previous 12 months - that may have lived just a little bit longer, if only we were, in the aggregate, more rational and intelligent creatures.
Until then, the suffering imposed on the world by the hatred of a few psychopathic religious fanatics, and the resulting disproportionate, shortsighted responses of those affected, will continue.
The annual media blitzkrieg of 9/11 remembrances needs to stop.
It's time to put September 11th, 2001 in our back pockets, lift our heads up, roll our shoulders back, and move on.