09/11/09

9/11: Inspiring a Legacy of Loving Service – 5 Questions

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Friday, September 11, 2009 9:32 AM

Torrey Pines Reserve

Torrey Pines Reserve, San Diego 9/11/09

 

This morning on my walk at Torrey Pines I had the privilege of reflecting back on September 11, 2001. I say privilege because I’m alive and so many others are not for reasons that we all know are equally horrifying and mystifying.

In honor of the families who experienced a loss of loved one, and to remind myself and you, if you choose, of the value of choosing to celebrate and appreciate life and this moment as fully as we can, here is an excerpt from my book Living with Enthusiasm that highlights one woman’s choice to turn her 9/11 tragedy into a legacy of loving service to the world.

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Our Lives Can Change in an Instant

Acting from our values not only fuels our enthusiasm for day-to-day living, it also allows us to get through difficult times. Our lives can change in an instant, but how quickly we forget until a crisis hits. Knowing and acting from our values can see us through. I received an email from a colleague in the days following September 11 that really brings this point home.

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Date: 9/14/01
From: Judy-Lee

Hello friends:

A friend of mine who lives in San Diego was a victim to the tragedy in NY last week Tuesday. Her 20-year-old daughter was aboard flight 93 that crashed in PA. Below please find her words to the community. She has agreed to have the message spread to the world. Please pass this along so that her daughter Deora can be remembered.

Thank you.
One Love,
Judy-Lee

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Date: 9/14/01 11:28 AM
From: Debby Borza

The last few days have been tragic, not only for our country but most directly for the families that lost loved ones during the terrorist attacks of September 11. My daughter Deora was a passenger on United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. She was returning home after visiting friends in New York to continue her education at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara where she was a junior.

Deora was a bright light. She was a gifted student, a wonderful friend, a kind and generous person beyond description. Where ever she went her light shined brightly leaving behind people who were empowered by who she was being. She impacted her friends. She impacted her schools. She impacted the animals at the Helen Woodward Center and the San Diego Zoo where she was a volunteer. Everywhere she went she left the world shining brightly.

As a mother, I will miss her terribly. She was my baby. My baby is gone. As an American, however, I am absolutely unwilling for her death to go unanswered. This was a young, vibrant woman who loved this country more than anyone knew. She loved her freedom. She was fiercely independent; a leader. She was the future of this country.

So here’s my stand. Let this passing be the start of a new conversation that has this world work for everyone. Let us start a new conversation that is all-inclusive, that leaves no one out. Let us start a conversation that is tolerant of all people’s beliefs, that includes everyone’s God, that includes everyone of color, and most of all, that provides a future for all mankind to live in harmony and respect.

My daughter made a difference everywhere she went. Let this then be our call: To live our lives in such a way that makes the biggest difference possible in the lives or our fellow man, with no one left out. No one! Let her light shine brightly for all people for all time!

Debby

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Sadly, tragedy, immediately clarifies what’s important to us. Tragically, for some the lesson comes too late. When we know what is most important to us and we are willing to look for and accept the lesson or gift, we walk into a state of grace. Courage rushes in and replaces our fear. Our passion is ignited and we are inspired to share our truth, which brings more light and healing to the world.

“At the end of our life our questions are very simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?”  ~Jack Kornfeld

Music excerpt Once Upon a Time in America: Deborah’s Theme from CD Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone

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ACTION STEP FOR LIVING WITH MORE ENTHUSIASM

Write out your purpose statement and spend your day imagining these are your last days on earth. How will you live? What will you do differently?

TIPS FOR LIVING WITH MORE ENTHUSIASM

  • Imagine you’ve been asked to give a commencement speech at your alma mater. Write a 250-word speech stating what you’ve learned about life that is most important, then ask to deliver it to your local high school or college’s senior class. Or send it to your family members and ask them to do the same for you.
  • Make a collage of images and words that represent your purpose statement (clip from magazines and your photo album) or print out a sign on your computer with your purpose statement. Put it on your refrigerator or a place where you’ll see it often.
  • Memorize your purpose statement and use it as a meditation mantra during quiet times or when you’re out walking or swimming laps.
  • Write a family purpose statement. Steven Covey offers a great process to use in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families.
  • Write your own eulogy or obituary. Share it with your family and friends or put it in an envelope in your “Important Papers” file for the future. Reread it every New Year’s Eve.

 

FIVE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR LEGACY

  • What are/were your parents’ most important values?
  • What single value brings you the greatest joy? Significance?
  • What values do you most want your children to learn? (If you don’t have children, think of the children in your life.)
  • What four descriptive words would you want loved ones to say about you after you’re gone?
  • Who specifically do you need to share your values with?

If this post has touched you in any way, please share your thoughts. I appreciate the connection and you.

Love, peace, and purpose, Mary

Thanks for sharing!