I feel as though New Yorkers are constantly moving forward. There’s a well known stereotype that we are fast-paced. In our walking, in our work, in everything we do. I’m guilty of being frustrated if the person in front of me isn’t walking at a speed that is at an equivalent or faster than mine. I power through my work loads, constantly trying to be as productive as possible. But after visiting the World Trade Center Museum yesterday I realized we must allow time to reflect on our past.
New York is a city that is consistently under threat, although we have one of the strongest defense forces of any city out there, we cannot allow ourselves to become cocky. After visiting the museum I realized I must continue to be thankful for every day I am given. I must not work my life away or power through everything I do. I’ve realized this speed has trickled down into how quickly I eat, and that I barely even taste my food.
After re-living those attacks via screens playing and re-playing news coverage of the attacks, seeing the remaining burned, melted objects, and hearing recounted stories of survivors, or phone messages to loved ones before they were taken from this earth, I had an epiphany. Every victim, even every person in the world, had their lives changed after September 11th, 2001. Families were changed forever, a feeling of safety was lost, and stricter security was implemented. But with every horrible event that happens there is always something to learn.
To me, that lesson is to be thankful for every day. Do not take anything for granted, whether it is my walk to work or brief moment sitting on a park bench. We must live our lives to the fullest, appreciating every second, which means slowing down at times and not bringing our work or speed everywhere we go in everything we do. Most importantly, I will always appreciate my loved ones and ensure full focus on them when I am in their presence.
(photos below were taken at the World Trade Center Museum)