Classical Geek Theatre: Humility, humanity should mean more than patriotism

It's been a year since terrorists attacked the United States. It's been one year since we all skipped class, watched the news, and stared at our own bare hands in disbelief. We all proclaimed that this country - that our lives - would never be the same.

Since it's been one year, I think its safe to say what a lot of us know, but are too scared to say: we were wrong.

Truth be told, this country is back where we were on Sept. 10.

The attacks were but a ripple in our daily lives and things have settled back to normal. We're back to rotting our brains on MTV, spending our money like it's a game of Monopoly and fretting over trivial matters. (Like, it's totally Justin's fault he and Britney broke up. For real.) I would venture to say our nation failed to react properly to the Sept. 11 attacks.

The day of the attacks I woke up and checked my regular Web site routine. I saw a picture of one of the World Trade Center towers on fire. I turned on the television to find we had been attacked. The first thing I thought is not suitable for print. Do you know what I thought about second?

I thought about the Tower of Babel.

The Bible, whether you believe in it or not, has some wonderful morality tales in it. It tells the story of a nation so prideful in its own accomplishments that they thought they could build a tower tall enough to touch God. They had the greed and audacity to try to be on God's level.

Is that not how we Americans view ourselves?

When the towers fell, the nation was swept with pride - nationalistic pride. President Bush told us to keep living our lives. "Don't let the terrorists win! Don't hide in your homes! Keep being consumers!" (Read: "Please don't let the economy collapse like the towers!")

And we did just that. We went to the store and bought flags. We made funny pictures of Osama bin Laden and posted them on the Internet. We struck down those who dare question the government, because that would be "un-American."

You know, if this nation were truly patriotic, flag sales wouldn't have gone up. Everyone would have already owned a flag.

The reality is, we weren't attacked at random. We were attacked because people hated us. And they still do. They tested us. Maybe God tested us.

We failed the test either way. Instead of standing taller, we should have humbled ourselves. We should have realized the reason people hate us is because the average American is richer than 99.5 percent of the world. We should have said, "Maybe we did something to deserve this. Maybe we could stand to be a little more meek."

Now, that doesn't mean such a violent, terrible act as the attacks are justified. They were an irrational disregard for the sanctity of human life. But they should have humbled us.

As we remember the lives that were lost on Sept. 11, 2001, I challenge you to change the way you think. Don't stand up taller. Humble yourselves; sit down a little lower.

Stop worrying about being American and just start being human. It would be lot harder for other people to hate us if we did.

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