A day our country will never forget. September 11th, 2001, our nation changed forever. Everyone has a story of where they were when they heard the tragedy… my story reminds me of how our circumstances determine perceptions.
One of my best friends had just found out she was pregnant. I had been with her the night before when she took her THIRD pregnancy test. To put it mildly, she was in shock.
At the time, I was in full time private practice, no co-workers, only 4 to 5 clients per day. When the first plane attacked, I was doing my insurance billing when Katie Couric reported on the tragedy. I called my friend:
Her: Hello, Shelly (caller ID)
Me: A plane just hit the World Trade Center!!!
Her: Yeah?..... So?
Me: They think it’s terrorists!
Her: Okay… (silence)…. What do you want me to do?
I felt stupid making such a big deal out of it, so I hung up and went back to billing. Then the second plane hit. I called my friend again:
Her: Yes, Shelly?! (sounds of disqust)
Me: Another plane just hit!!
Her: Shelly, what do you want me to do? I have bigger problems right now! I have no control over New York City!!! Don’t you have work to do?
Okay… so I turned off the TV and went about the day, convinced I was being overly dramatic. When I finally understood the magnitude of what had happened, it reminded me – what is a major deal to one person may be minor to another person. Therefore, we shouldn’t compare our life’s circumstances to others. People may think I have a tough life having disabilities, when I view friends who have a marriage and children as having a much tougher life than mine. It’s all relative.