Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I set my alarm to go off at 8:45 this morning, the time my university had announced it would observe a moment of silence. I wasn’t on campus today, but I wanted to participate.
When the alarm went off, I was standing in a parking lot. I stopped for a few minutes and thought about the people who went to work eleven years ago on a lovely September morning, just like today, looking forward to a day of collaboration with colleagues, a day of creativity, but found something so very different, so very wrong.  And I thought of those men and women who walked into the chaos, hoping to save strangers. I said a little prayer of thanks for all the wonderful people in my life, and a prayer asking for courage and strength if I ever found myself in a dangerous situation. Then I got in my car and went about my day.
It’s mid-afternoon now; I’ve completed all my errands, checked off much from my “to do” list, and now have welcomed my girls home from school. Despite the heavy sadness we all feel on this day, I can look back and see a lot of joy, and pride in my fellow citizens. There was the truck driver who made space for me to drive out of that parking lot, the cashier who looked me in the eye with a smile and some friendly chatter, the young man who held the door for me even though I was several paces behind. Were people kinder today? Or did I simply notice it more?
Amidst all the Facebook posts urging us never to forget, The Institute for Humane Education shared a photo with the tag line “Be Kind to Everything that Lives.” Yes, that is how I want to remember.
Thank you to all who showed kindness today. You are my heroes.

More weekly Slice of Life posts can be found on the Two Writing Teachers blog.


  1. There are everyday people among us who are heroes. I usually don't dwell on other people's kindness, but today, the man behind the deli counter at Wegmans was one of my everyday heroes. My daughter was screaming because it was getting close to nap time. He gave me a knowing look and then said, "Would she like a piece of cheese?"
    "Sure, that'd be great," I replied.
    He opened up the case and grabbed it. He handed it to me and I, in turn, handed the cheese over to her. She smiled as she chewed it. Just like that, her screaming subsided.
    Kindness, right there. It's everywhere if you look carefully.

  2. I loved reading your post. I've spent the day with my students and will be at school late due to a family pizza night. Thanks for reminding us to look for kindness and everyday heroes each day.

  3. I loved being able to put something down on my blog about 9/11 to start my day and then get comments back and now, early on the day after, I'm still digesting, reading how others spent their day. I walked in your shoes too Laura,