Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for September 10th, 2011

The Bad, the Ugly, the Good

Posted by terrepruitt on September 10, 2011

Wow!  I learned something today and you know me when I learn something I get excited.  Some of the things I learn might be common knowledge to others, but when I learn it or sometimes re-learn or remember it, I love to share it.  I have found that often what I am learning/re-learning/being reminded of is new to at least one other person.  I am really amazed at what I just learned today . . . . right now in fact, via an e-mail.  If any of you are members of Meetup you probably got the e-mail too.  The bad is the horrific murders that happened on September 11, 2001.  The ugly, of course, is that there are people living with us on this beautiful planet that want to cause chaos, destruction, and are filled with such hate.  The ugly is also, of course, the loss of life, freedom, and so many other things that were taken away that day and the days that have followed.  But the good is Meetup.

Did you know that Meetup was born of 9/11?  One of the founders of Meetup sent out an e-mail today that said he was living not too far from the Twin Towers and wasn’t involved in local community.  After the planes crashed into the towers he felt as if the people around him changed in that they started saying hello to neighbors and helping each other.  Questions arose about whether the internet could be used to bring communities together.  A small group of people got together and launched Meetup 9 months later.  (As I am typing this, I just realized that it was NINE months later . . . as in the typical human birth gestation.)

This idea born of something awful is almost 10 years old and is 10 million people strong.  With 100,000 Meetup Groups a lot is happening.  Ten million people reaching out to one another and connecting.  Heck ya, that is good.

His e-mail goes onto say, “Meetups aren’t about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it weren’t for 9/11.”

I am really amazed, I didn’t know this.  I don’t even remember when I was told about Meetup, but I had heard about it and knew it had been around for a while and I never would have imagined it came about because of 9/11.

I feel 9/11 is a very emotional thing.  Everyone was affected differently.  I believe it is different for those who look out at the skyline every day and see sky where the towers used to be.  I believe it is different for those who knew people who died. I believe it is different for those who whose health was affected by the debris from the towers.

My friends and I have busy schedules and when we looked at our calendars we found that the only day we were all available to meet for the September birthday was a Sunday, 9/11.  It wasn’t until a few days later that it dawned on me that it was 9/11 AND the 10th anniversary.  I sent an e-mail mentioning that it really wasn’t a day that I felt it was appropriate to be celebrating.  I was thinking that people would frown at us and wag their fingers if they were to see us in a restaurant being jovial.  So many sorrows came from that day.  I somewhat felt we would be disrespectful if we were to be out having a good time.  One of my friends replied, “I say we toast those who lost and risked their lives on that horrific day.  They should make it a national holiday.  That way people would begin to celebrate the lives of those who died, with BBQs and such, instead of forever focusing on the bad terrorists.  I feel like they win – if we keep remembering the bad terrorists.”  I liked that idea.  I think we should focus on the good that came out of that day.  By celebrating the good we are NOT dishonoring the lives that were taken.  Nor are we belittle the fact that some people were directly affected.  All Americans, and almost everyone that has any dealings with America were affected.  We lost lives, freedoms, and much more.  BUT . . . focusing on the negative of the event just gives it more power.

We could give POSITIVE power by focusing on it, on the POSITIVE stuff.  Meetup was born.  I wonder how many wonderful things, how many positives were born from Meetup?  How many businesses got help from belonging to a business Meetup?  How many parents learned about parenting from parenting Meetup groups?  How many lives were saved because someone got; happy, healthy, noticed, recognized, informed, or felt as if they belonged to something?

I was really surprised and amazed to learn that Meetup was started because of 9/11. Again to quote the e-mail from Scott Heiferman, “The towers fell, but we rise up. And we’re just getting started with these Meetups.”  There is nothing we can do to change what happened that day.  All I can do is respectfully hold space for those that died and for everyone else who was affected.  I am NOT saying that I am glad it happened because that allowed Meetup to come in to existence.  I am saying, I can focus on the positive not the negative. I believe focusing on the positive to be a better use of energy and a better way of honoring the memory of victims of 9/11.

This was respectfully written and posted . . . .

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