It’s hard to believe that the attack on the World Trade Center was 15 years ago. Like many of you, I watched (yet again) several of the TV documentaries that were on yesterday, and was transported back to that dreadful day like it was only a few months ago. A lot has changed in our world and in our collective consciousness since that profoundly jarring and disturbing event. For one thing, we are certainly far more aware of the dangers of the world in which we live.
Momentous times in our history such as 9/11 remind us not only of the fragility of life, but of the profound human need, almost as basic as food, shelter and water, for connectivity, bonding, validation of self-worth and social contact– for taking care of one another and for focusing on what matters.
In the face of a life-altering tragedy, what matters are quick, decisive, compassionate and brave actions. In a crisis, these qualities come into sharp focus and are called upon with no warning. On an everyday basis, however, we are still wise to remember and act upon what matters most. Every day human needs are not borne of crisis. They are more subtle and ongoing, but they are real and urgent. On a year-round basis, Y associates have the privilege to do work that really matters in so many ways: giving warm hellos and eye contact; helping children gain their sea legs as confident learners, reminding young people they matter in the world; helping older adults conquer unspoken fears; giving a family a much needed break; and enabling a volunteer to enjoy the special rewards of giving. These and so many more things Y people do every single day are part of what make our work and our opportunity so incredibly special. They are also very real contributions to making our community a healthier, more connected and civil place in which to live.
So, let us never forget the lessons of 9/11 or the need for all of us to take care of each other in our own community, every single day.
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland