Today marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The after-effects have been ongoing and literally affected millions of lives all around the world. As we remember those that lost their lives as well as gave their lives and to those who are still fighting and risking their lives…  thank you and bless you. I remember feeling disbelieve as did so many as I heard the horrific news that morning… we thought it was an accident. Then quickly realized it was so much more. Since that day, so many have lived with loss and pain, but also change and hope.

For weeks after the 9/11 attacks,  I was surprised to hear from total strangers via email. I received thank you notes from people who somehow found my artwork on the internet and let me know that at the end of each day, the only thing that made them feel better or brought them comfort from their grief was viewing my paintings. Some of them were counselors trying to help victims and their families cope with the 9/11 tragedy. They were trying to help others cope… but who was helping them cope? I remember crying out of sincere gratitude that something I created could reach people so deeply and bring them some kind of peace. The fact that they reached out to me to let me know how they were affected must have taken courage.

It’s been ten years and I hold this gratitude in my heart and mind every day. Knowing that I have been given a gift that can help others is a big responsibility and a wonderful opportunity. It reminds me that we all have an important role to play in this world and I challenge myself constantly. It’s important to me that I am contributing somehow… to somehow try to make my time on this earth as worthy as possible. I want to bring peace and joy to as many as I can… if I can continue to do this and keep putting love out into the world, I know I will have peace.

I think it’s important that we all ask ourselves how we are contributing? How are we participating? How are we making this a better place? How are we treating each other? What are we giving? What and how can we leave this earth and the people we are in touch with (and even strangers we may not ever meet) better by what we do and how we act? I think it’s important that we each take time to reflect and seriously ask ourselves as individuals how and what we can do NOW to be a positive participant of this world. I hope I can always create such beauty that will continue to make a difference.

“The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty and Truth.”

~ Albert Einstein

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