This is the day. The 10th anniversary of THAT DAY – the day the world changed.
You all remember it. It’s one of those days where everyone remembers where they were, what they were doing. The images are etched in our minds. I was working in the Surgery Pharmacy, and kept ducking across the hall to watch the unfolding drama. When the first tower went down, I said out loud, “The world will never be the same again.” I got that part right. The idea that the event itself was what changed the world was wrong. Dead wrong.
The world had BEEN changing, unnoticed, right before our eyes. Those planes didn’t suddenly fly into their targets. The operation had been meticulously planned for some time. and the motivations behind it went back much further still. What seemed to be a sudden action was actually a gradual buildup of factors, the culmination of which is forever etched on our memories.
In aviation, they talk about the chain of events. Simply put, any accident is actually the end product of a series of events linked together like a chain. Break the chain at any point, and you stop the accident.
There are so many things in life that are like that – most of them, in fact. If you look carefully at the things that happen to us, you will usually find a chain of events leading up to it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a national crisis, the breakup of a marriage, or a shop accident. Most of the time, there were a series of warning signs that, if heeded, could have prevented a tragedy. The problem is, we tend to blow right on through and ignore the things that could have stopped the chain of events cold.
Could 9/11 have been prevented? Some analysts say so. Certainly, after-action analysis points to that possibility. However, that’s now a moot point – what’s done can’t be undone. The course of the world was irrevocably altered. If that’s the case, why am I writing this?
I want to urge all my readers to analyze their own lives. Look at your actions, and your relationships with those around you. Are you forging a chain of events? Are there things you can do to possibly avert a future problem? I don’t just mean major things – small things also add up. Early course corrections are easier than later ones. Try to spot patterns of behavior in your own life while you can, before things pass the point of no return. Create better and safer work habits, improve your relationship with those around you, live a healthier life.
Do your best to break the chain.