Some very good, very honest friends have basically told me that this morning’s post came across all wrong. Upon a second (okay, more like an eighth) reading, I see it. I totally sound like a snobbish jerk trying to tell people how they should feel about a national tragedy.
That was pretty much the opposite of what I intended.
What I wanted was to call myself to task as much as (actually, more than) anyone else for failing to care as much as I should.
I wanted to express frustration at the trend of using Facebook as a sort of check-box for emotions and memories. Random Facebook friend’s birthday? Write on their wall. Check. Terrorist attack overseas? Express outrage and state that you “stand with” said country. Check. September 11th? Post something patriotic. Check. And then stop thinking about it.
I know that most, if not all, of today’s 9/11 posts are totally sincere. And I don’t mean to imply that we shouldn’t post about it. Or talk about it. Or remember.
Memories make us who we are. They wrap around the fibers of our being and change the way we think and act and love. But it can be too easy to pack away the uncomfortable memories in exchange for acting like we think we should. Checking a box.
If it takes Facebook to remind us, like that old friend’s birthday–if our remembering becomes another box to check and nothing else–if it doesn’t make us live each day like it could be our last and hold our family a little closer or do something (anything!) about it–then we aren’t remembering very well.
And on more than one occasion, that has been me.