On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our country, we might take a moment to reflect on what we can learn from that fateful day that changed history forever.

According to this article, 9/11 taught us deep lessons about life, humanity, and ourselves that will never make it into a history book.  Here are 3 of the article’s top five lessons from 9/11:

1.        We are all connected.

9/11 was the awakening of the idea of global connectedness and exposed us to the love and support of people all over the world.  9/11 taught us that what happens in one place has ripple effects that extend across the globe.

2.        Every person has a story.

For weeks after the attacks, you couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing a slideshow of faces accompanied by names and personal stories.  We were able to see that every 9/11 victim was more than just a number. They became real.

3.        There is a never-ending supply of good in the world.

In the midst of terrible times, the good in people continues to shine.  This is because, according to Steven Stosny, Ph.D. founder of CompassionPower in suburban Washington, DC., we generally have a sense of basic humanity that motivates cooperative, compassionate, and protective behavior, which in adversity, motivates rescue and nurturance of strangers.  Basic humanity allows us to recognize the inherent value of other people.

And, in the aftermath of 9/11, Americans from all over the country came together to mourn those who were lost, rebuild what had fallen, and create a renewed sense of community.

The article concludes by noting that our task, each and every day, is to live our lives at peak goodness and humanity — even when we’re not in a crisis situation.  If we do that, we’ll never lose our sense of hope that the world truly can be a better place.

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