Today is 9/11. As a millennial, this event is literally part of what defines my generation. We can remember 9/11. What was interesting to me was that this morning, as I was first waking up and stumbling around semi-conscious, I glanced at my watch. 9/11. And the first thing I thought was, “Wow. 18 years. There are people becoming legal adults today who were born after the twin towers fell.”
And as I sat with that thought for a moment, I had a bit of cognitive dissonance. I imagined I was supposed to feel somber and serious. But instead, I just felt this sensation of lightness. “My God,” I thought. “The next generation lives in a world where 9/11 is history as opposed to present day.” Of course, I think it’s important that we remember those we lost on 9/11 and the incredible first responders who ran into the collapsing buildings.
But, I also feel hope. Hope for a world that – just maybe – will no longer be dominated by the hate that created 9/11 and the violence that stemmed from it.
I have had the great pleasure of traveling to a lot of places. Several of them have been majority Muslim nations. Many of them have been places where the residents do not look like me. A few of them have a reputation for “hating” Americans or white people in general.
In my experience, people care more about how you treat them than what you look like. People want to be liked. People are kind.
I wanted to share a little about my time in Morocco. To say I was welcomed with open arms is an understatement. Many of the Arab men I worked with, who American media like to portray as violent and hateful, literally called me their little sister. They wanted to make sure I was safe, comfortable, and had everything I could need. The Arab women I worked with, who the American media portray as meek (at best), were vivacious, hilarious, sarcastic, and incredibly frank.
They were no different in any meaningful way from the men and women I’ve worked with in the US or any other country.
And you know what? We all do yoga.