On a Tuesday morning in September, a little over 15 years ago, I was waking up for work.
At the time, my alarm was set to play classic rock radio (I believe it was 94.1 WYSP). While I usually woke up to something by Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and the like, this morning, the DJ was talking, and with a very odd tone to his voice.
I’m not great in the mornings, but I do distinctly recall something like the following:
“…so, I don’t really know what else to do here, so I guess the only thing we can do in the meantime while we wait for updates is to keep playing your favorite classic rock hits…”
What was going on?
Of course, you’ve anticipated the punchline. The day was September 11, 2001, and I was waking up to the first real-world crisis of my adult life.
That day, everything around me seemed different. People who normally walk past each other and avoid eye contact would look, nod, and grimace in understanding. Strangers would hug. People would spontaneously be crying in the street.
There was a sense that things were different now, and that they would never be the same again.
I don’t know when you’re reading this post, but whether you’re reading this on the day it was posted or many years in the future, I want to take some time to talk about how to respond when you feel like the world has changed for the worse.