The Eleventh

I just have two things to say about the upcoming 9/11 anniversary:

1. I don’t care how much of a stud you are — this was an emotionally jarring event in everyone’s life. For all the turmoil it caused in business and politics and global stability, the lasting effect deep in our souls is just as damaging. Even if you skip all the cheesy TV specials (and I’m pretty sure every network we have will embarrass themselves), there will be vibrations throughout the collective unconscious.

Just be ready for a little emotional shockwave. We took a hit, and we absorbed the blow and held steady.

But we did take a hit.

2. I’m hoping there are no nasty surprises Monday.

Still, it’s just a good habit to be prepared. Americans tend to get lazy about being ready for anything — we’re spoiled with well-stocked supermarkets open 24/7, and communication lines that stay open (mostly) without interruption.

It’s a mistake to get complacent. Every aspect of modern life is dependent on people and technology and infrastructure that can go down in a blink.

Few people remember the grisly details of surviving disaster. On the day after 9/11, for example, banks were allowing withdrawals of no more than $500. No matter what. (Thought it was your money they had in your account? Think again. Banks are free to limit hours and withdrawals however they see fit during emergencies. “Your” money, ultimately, is just dots on a screen somewhere.)

Have a little cold cash on hand.

I’ve been through earthquakes where radio, TV and phone lines went down with the electrical grid. Now, that’s a scary feeling — being out of touch, and in the dark. Radio Shack sells wind-up radios with flashlights for thirty bucks. When you’re out buying enough bottled water and canned goods to last you a few desperate days, don’t forget about light and communication. (I know several people who also have satellite phones stashed away with the first aid kit.)

I don’t need to give you a full list. Dig out your old Boy Scout guidebook, or go find an Army suvivial manual. Even just having the basic necessities covered (food, medicine and shelter) should be a habit, all the time.

You’re not being paranoid… you’re just being sensible.

Somebody has to be sensible while the rest of the world goes nuts.

Might as well be you.

And really — please stay frosty. We’re gonna be okay. But if you’re the go-to guy in your family or business, be prepared to take control and have your ass covered.

John Carlton

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  • Lisa Manyon says:

    I couldn?t have said it better myself. 9/11 has been heavy on my mind. It could be because it?s had a lasting impact on all of us or it could be that I get a little nervous right before flying. Either way, in general, we do take our lifestyles for granted. I?m looking forward to touching ground safely in the LA area on the 12th and attending your event on the 13th. Thanks for sharing and happy, safe travels to everyone.

  • Nicely said John,

    We do tend to get complacent, which I believe, is human nature. We need to stay alert, stay alive. Those responsible would love nothing more than to instill more fear and confusion. We need to live our lives but remember and keep a watchful eye on our surroundings.

    Living in the city a lack of utilities and communications is scarey but if living in the woods it is normal so to keep sane just pretend you are camping out. Be prepared but hope the preparations are never needed.

    I will always remember 9/11 coming and going. I was in W. Berline in 11/9/89 when the wall “came down”. That was scarey. We didn’t know how the Soviets were going to react or the people if they closed it again. 9/11 I will never forget the vision of the tower with smoke pouring out and moments later a plane hitting the other or that moment of collapse. i say coming and going because some places make their dates the opposite. 9/11 and 11/9 can be the same.

    The heroes of 9/11 let us know humanity is not hopeless but why can’t we all just live and let live.

    My name is Darwin and that is my Theory.

  • John

    You could not have said it better. In a society that lives in so much excess we are in fact spoiled by the very things that can be taken away in a heartbeat.

    Don’t forget to carry a silent moment for those victims of 09/11.

    Joseph Ratliff
    Professional Direct Marketing Consultant

  • joe says:

    Gee… I’d like to know how you get an airplane (flt. 77 ) that is 124 foot across through an 18 foot hole… with virtually no wreckage at the crash site… interesting physics… and not to mention a first in aviation history

  • […] As John Carlton wrote, “We took a hit, and we absorbed the blow and held steady. But we did take a hit.” Things irrevocably changed that day. I do not think we have quite yet understood how they have changed, and I do feel that as a nation we would immensely benefit from greater political dialogue about what has changed and what we are doing, and why, greater political dialogue about where we are going and why. It is time to lay politics aside and engage in a rational, respectful, reasoned discussion about what is best for our nation and how we can best go about reaching towards it. […]

  • dood says:

    What happened is a trajedy… but the Patriot Act had to happen some time.

    Just more freedoms down the drain.

    This is VERY intentional.

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