On this 10th anniversary of 911, I was reminded of a letter written by the mother of a young woman who died on Flight 93 , which inspired me so much I wrote about it in my book Living with Enthusiasm. I’m reprinting here in the hope that it moves you as much as it did me.
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 e-mail from a colleague in the days following September 11 that really brings this point home.
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.
Date: 9/14/01 11:28 AM
From: Debby Borza
The last few days have been tragic, not only for our country but most directlyfor 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!
Tragedy has the ability to immediately clarify what’s important. 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.
Here are three questions to help clarify what’s important:
• What three qualities in a person most inspire you?
• What four values do you most want your children to learn? (If you
don’t have children, think of the children in your life.)
• What five descriptive words would you want loved ones to say
about you after you’re gone?
Once you make your list, write it on a post-it note and put it on the mirror you look in most often. Memorize it. Make it your daily to-do list. Your life will never be the same.