Continued Lessons from 9/11

Have you seen the short documentary called “Boatlift” that has gone viral? I will attach it below so you can watch it now if you haven’t already. Get the tissues ready. I can wait while you watch.

If you can’t watch right now, I will give you a brief summary. It is the previously untold story of the maritime evacuation of lower Manhattan on 9/11. Over 500,000 people were transported off of the island after the Coast Guard put out a call asking for any boat to come if they could assist. Within minutes there were at least a hundred boats that converged on that area to assist in getting people away from the horror of Manhattan that day.

This story really showed 1. People want to help and 2. The marvel of what can be done if we all work together.  

Oftentimes when we are struggling with something difficult in our lives, we resist asking for help.  There are many reasons for this such as feeling like we should deal with things independently, feeling too apprehensive to ask because we don’t want to bother people, and feeling like others should already know what we need.  We need to overcome this trepidation and just ask for help.  Don’t carry your burdens alone. People have a desire to lend a hand when needed.  The assistance obviously blesses the receiver, but it also blesses the giver.  We should not deny ourselves the support of those that care or deny the giver the opportunity of providing that support.   It feels so good to help, doesn’t it?

When all hands are working together toward one goal, it is amazing what can get accomplished.  The boats coming together to help in New York is a prime example of that.  One call is all it took to get the rescue in motion.  What seemed an insurmountable task, was completed in nine hours. 

Watching this documentary reminded me of how redwood trees work together to strengthen each other to do something seemingly impossibly.  These enormous trees can grow more than three hundred feet tall, but their roots only go to depths of six to twelve feet.  So what makes them so strong and durable?  Their root systems spread to lengths of fifty feet or more and intertwine with the roots of other nearby redwoods.  The trees are able to withstand high winds or whatever nature throws their way by holding onto each other and working together to create a firm foundation.

Picture from our 2009 trip to California

Imagine if we were more like a redwood forest: strong, solid, and hardy by holding onto and supporting one another.  Imagine the multiplied blessings if we asked for assistance when our burden is too heavy to carry alone. Also imagine if more people would heed the call to rescue others in times of need just like the vessels from “Boatlift”.  There is strength and power in unity, collaboration and cooperation.  Let’s not forget.

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