9/11 – four and a half years later

i just came across an article i tucked away for future use a few years ago. it was written a few days after 9/11 – september 17, 2001, to be precise.

in it, one of my favourite authors, psychologist mihaly csikszentmihalyi talks about happiness and harmony post 9/11. csikszentmihalyi specializes in studying creativity, happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction. his bestseller flow talks about the state that is experienced in moments of creativity or concentrated work, when you just feel in the groove.

here are two quotes:

“We are focusing on retribution and not understanding, and that worries me. If we focus on where hatred comes from and how to make it go away, we wouldn’t be talking about retribution only. I hope this will end in the fact that the wonderful sense of togetherness America has shown will include other countries in the world. The best outcome is not only global policing but also global responsibility. Unless we find this type of balance, we are going to always have people who want to destroy us.”

“What we had before — in the sense that people felt like, basically, nothing could go wrong — was not normal. It was really unusual. In human history, we have never been in a position for long where we could feel secure. The plagues that used to devastate the world would often come one or two a generation and decimate the population. Despite that, people were able to create new, important advances. We will need to be creative and make progress in spite of the fact that we now know life is fragile — in spite of the fact that we now know civilization is fragile. That is a much more mature way of living than expecting that everything will be fine.”

what does that sound like today? to what degree has america included other countries? has there been a focus on where hatred comes from and how to make it go away? do we have a new awareness of the fragility of life and civilization?

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

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