September 11, 2009

Pandora's Box and September 11th

This is something I wrote in the days following September 11, 2001. I republish it every year to remind myself of the central message. 

"What a world is down there," Pandora mused as she peered over the precipice of her mountaintop. “They have so much good but also so much bad. What did I unleash when I opened that box?"

She paused and sighed, still watching the humans, "They have a plethora of choices. I have seen so much from this mountain. They love, laugh, grow, live, die, and sometimes even hate. What an emotional bunch they are! So human.”

Pandora found herself daydreaming about the wonders of being human. Jolted from her daydream, there was a thunderous crash. "Oh dear", she panicked, "something horrible has happened down there!"

She looked over the edge of her mountain in the clouds and saw smoke billowing. She heard the screaming cries as the humans bled and burned. Terror gripped her as she frantically raced to find out what had happened. Had she never opened that box, eons ago. She knew this was her fault. Her lack of discipline. Guilt wracked her soul. She set free the evils that were causing this pain. In an instant of time, the human's world changed. Their innocence ended as the evil she had unleashed once again found its way into the human's world.

For days, the humans cried in pain. Physical pain, emotional pain, mental pain. They tried to make sense of the senseless act. They looked to each other for explanations. There were none.

But Pandora knew. "I am so sorry," she thought.

Disheartened, Pandora closed her eyes. She remembered that fateful day when she simply had to open that box. "What have I done?" Then with a flash, Pandora remembered, one thing remained in the box... hope. Yes, hope. She walked over to her box, and peeked in, saw the shimmering light of hope. Hope had not escaped from her box. She knew the people would eventually remember the gift that remained theirs.

With glee, she watched more closely, waiting for the people to find hope. She saw hoards of folks marching to the place of the fire, reaching out, and trying to help. She saw parents holding their children tighter. She saw lovers embracing trying to seek comfort from the terror. Candles flickered and flags flew and the humans found strength within themselves. They held onto each others' hearts and hands. They remembered what was wonderful about being human. The ability to feel. The ability to comfort each other with love.

Peeking closely into one house, she saw a family, huddled around their table. They had their heads bowed in prayer. Their voices echoed to the heavens. Their songs shook the clouds. Their candles lit the world. She heard the faith, hope, and love in their voices, the simple comfort of their words, the solace in their touch. Ah yes, to be human. To know. To love. Pandora breathed a sigh of relief. Relief that she closed the box when she did. So grateful she had not allowed hope to escape. With hope, the humans would always find comfort.

Always remember, hope is never gone.
God Bless the USA


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