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Putting things in perspective
Posted By: Travholt, on host
Date: Thursday, September 13, 2001, at 07:31:43

When I watched the pictures from the WTC tragedy on TV, just half an hour after the first plane had hit, I started to think.

I was horrified by it all, of course. I'm normally not easily moved by what I see on the news, because there is too much bad stuff all the time, and it's too far away that I'm able to understand what it's all about. I have a hard time relating to it. But I've found myself on the brink of crying many times during the last two days, and that says a lot, because I don't cry easily.

I thought: Is it good for people to see this happen, and even live on TV? I mean, as opposed to just hearing about it or reading about it in the paper, looking at photos? Doesn't it do more damage than good? Aren't the TV stations just feeding our need for sensational stories?

But as I felt the chills down my back as I watched the recording of the second plane hitting and the explosions bursting out on the other side, I thought: Oh, my, this is for REAL. This isn't some action movie, although I've seen similar scenes in films many times. There were actual people in those planes and buildings, and they are no more.

And as this sunk in, it dawned on me: We NEED to see this. Not to feed our appetite for sensational stories, but to understand what happens all around the world, and how people's lives are touched and destroyed when disaster strikes. Seeing this particular tragedy from all sorts of angles can help us to understand the consequences of many other acts of terrorism and other tragic incidents around the world.

I could easily have become even more mind-numbed and indifferent. I could have shut it all out and refused to think about it. Instead, I think I've become more understanding, although there's no way I'm able to fully understand the torment people directly or indirectly involved must go through. My heart and prayers go out to them all.

But I've also become more aware of bad things happening elsewhere in the world, incidents that don't get the same amount of media coverage because they don't happen downtown, New York, and/or because they aren't as dramatic or involve as many people. I'm know more able to understand what it's about.

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