Sept. 11 Reminds Us To Find A Peaceful Way Forward

(September 19, 2016)

I will never forget 9/11. I had raced to the University of Winnipeg for an 8:30 a.m. class, not listening to the radio en route, and had gone straight from class into a meeting.

I emerged to watch the second tower fall, just in time for my first lecture in a course on science and society.

It was more group therapy than lecture, as we reflected on the fact our world had just changed — and not for the better.

Over the next eight months, we talked about many things, including the problems of elites, colonialism, power and control, democracy and what lay ahead for our generation on a planet struggling to find a route to a sustainable future.

It would have been nice to check back with that class at five years, at 10 years, and today, to see how their lives had been shaped by the events of 9/11, even though we watched the towers fall from afar, safe and secure in Winnipeg.

Since that time, we have seen a global surge of anger on many fronts relating to ecological and social injustice.

Perhaps we have reached some collective tipping point, where the collectivity of the Internet has allowed people to gain strength and solidarity by standing together around the world, but there are rough waters ahead.

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