My first column for the Northern Star appears today, reflecting on September 11, our residual fear in the wake of it, and an incident that took place a few weeks ago that seems only too fitting to examine.
I was a 15-year American Airlines flight attendant when our planes (along with those of United Airlines) were used to create so much physical and psychic damage to our country. In previous years, I've reflected and shared on my experiences and feelings of that day (2004 :: 2005-photo essay :: 2006).
This year, I observed the day with little public comment, and so, wanted my first column for the Star to touch upon it a bit. For many Americans the reverberations of that tragic day are still being powerfully felt six years beyond.
Seven Middle Eastern men gather in the departure lounge of a recent American Airlines flight bound for Chicago.
It’s late in San Diego, nearing the 11 p.m. departure time for Flight 590 and passengers are anxious to get going. A 35-year-old homemaker traveling with her two children observes the dark-skinned men. They’re talking to one another – not in English – and it makes her uneasy.
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One more small graf:
In 1998, author Gavin de Becker published a best-seller called “The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect us from Violence.” Written before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the book directed people to tap into their sixth sense for protection against threats of violence.
de Becker claims that our “personal solution to violence” will come from within us. If we learn to follow our gut instincts, or “brilliant internal guardian,” then we can keep our loved ones and ourselves safe and free from harm.
But what happens when members of society become too fearful? Can we trust our intuition if we live in a culture of pervasive fear?
Please read the rest.