Thorny Knits

I've got a husband, twin toddlers, a cat who I probably forgot to feed this morning, and never, ever enough time to knit.


Mom's Greatest Lesson

It's late. I should be asleep. But instead I'm awake and dinking around the internet. I was entertaining myself by reading blogs, when I ran across a few which are already talking about this being the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

Chris brought tears to my eyes with her post about David E. Rivers, one of the 2996 people who died on that terrible day five years ago. It's part of 2996, a tribute project wherein 2996 bloggers will each post a tribute to one of the victims of 9/11.

It's things like this, in which strangers at computers erect electronic memorials to people they'd never met, which make me think the world can't be so wrong, can it?

And then I read this post by Suze, which she begins by talking about where she was on 9/11, and I thought, "You know, I should post about that too."

But then she continued, and mentioned that while this is the fifth anniversary of 9/11, it is also the 100th anniversary of Ghandi's declaration of Satyagraha, the philosophy of non-violent resistance, and asks how the U.S. response to 9/11 can possibly go toward making a better world.

And that made me realize what I should write about today.

I've mentioned in the past that my relationship with my mom is... well, it's not so good. Our relationship has been troubled for as long as I can remember, and due to a lot of factors, a lot of the big lessons I learned growing up, she didn't teach me. As a result, we don't share many of the same values.

But there is one lesson she did teach me, one lesson that I learned and have kept with me my whole life, one lesson that I still hold up and can't find a single flaw in it, can't find any compelling arguments against it. And that lesson is this:

Two wrongs don't make a right.

It sucks, too. Because so often, when we've been wronged, all we want to do is wrong right back. We want to make others experience the pain or fear or anger that we feel, we want to make others sorry for reminding us just how vulnerable we are. It doesn't matter if the weakness they've revealed is physical, mental or spiritual - we want to cover up that chink in our armor just as fast as we can, and we want to punish those who have revealed it, that others might see.

But no matter how we've been wronged in the past, if we do wrong by someone else, it's still wrong.

It's not like math, where two negative numbers can be multiplied to create a positive number.

It's not like driving, where you can make three left turns and arrive at the same place you'd have landed if you'd made just one right turn.

It's not like knitting, where a mistake can be repeated a few times until it becomes a design element.

When we have been wronged, and we choose to do wrong in response? We correct nothing. We only add to an ever-growing pile of wrongs, which does little but inspire us and those around us to greater feats of injustice and cruelty and harm.

So while we revisit the terror and grief and rage of this date five years ago, I pray we all can leave a little space in which to also remember the courage, determination, and hope displayed on this date 100 years ago, by a man of peace.

We have all been wronged in our lives, in ways large and small, by design or by accident. If we choose to wrong others in response, we have no hope of progress, no hope of making our world a better place to be.

If we seek peace, if we seek justice, then when we are wronged, we MUST respond by doing right.


  • At Mon Sep 11, 01:31:00 PM CDT, Blogger Suze said…

    Great post, Thorny! And not because of the plug (though I really appreciate it-thanks!), but because of the lesson in there. I wish more people, particularly people in power, would choose to live by that philosophy.

  • At Mon Sep 18, 10:05:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Carrie K said…

    Thorny, that is the most eloquent, elegant post I have seen regarding 9/11. Two wrongs don't make a right. So simple, so true.


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