Better than usual
Many stories of human suffering
and extraordinary human kindness have been written in the aftermath of
the recent terrorist attacks on our country. One of the letters my family
received put a different slant on those tragic events.
A letter written by our daughter-in-law
Heather moved me to ponder things I hadn't thought about before.
I want to share some of what
she wrote to our family in the days following the attacks on The World
Trade Center and Pentagon. She was moved by the many newspaper and television
accounts of patriotism and acts of kindness that showed the world that,
"as a nation we would come together and emerge stronger than ever. We
would join together to help one another in ways that this country and
the world had not seen for many years."
She was deeply saddened by
the attacks that killed so many innocent people and admitted she was afraid.
She worried that more attacks on innocent American citizens would be forthcoming
as we initiated overt military actions to destroy terrorist groups around
Her letter continued, "It's
a shame that it took a tragedy of this magnitude to bring us together.
Since Sept. 11, we have seen and heard accounts of generosity and kindness
on an unprecedented level. We have put aside gender, race and class to
work together to repair the damage to our country and to help victims
and their families. We have shown the world and each other what Americans
are capable of."
And then she asked, "If we
are always capable of these generous and charitable acts, why must we
wait for tragic events to practice them?"
As President George Bush and
First Lady Laura Bush help this nation heal and as we respond to their
urgings to get back to business as usual, Heather has this suggestion.
"I urge Americans to think of Ôbusiness as usual' in a new light. We can
be an America made up of people that always practice the generous and
charitable acts that we've shown ourselves capable of these past few weeks.
We can and should act this way always, without question and without reservation."
We thank Heather for writing
her letter to our family to help us get through these very difficult times.
Also, I thank her for giving me permission to share her very personal
feelings with our Rural Missouri readers.
Her message should move each
of us to think about how we can, now and forever, be better than we usually
Stork was executive
vice president of the Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives and a member of Three Rivers Electric Co-op.