On the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I am reflective of a difficult time for my country, the world and my own life. I had recently been laid off for the first time in my career...so when the attacks happened, I had all the time in the world to watch all the coverage I could. I was in Portland (Oregon) so I was not close, but it felt close. Watching this news happen in real-time was profound event for me. If I was closer, I hope that I would have jumped in to help. My heart sank for the victims and their families. I tried to make sense of this violent act...and it was simply senseless. At that Twin Towers; at the Pentagon and in that tragic field in Pennsylvania - the bravery and heroism that I have to believe I am not capable of.
I kept thinking of this quote that had touched me as a teenager:
Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow. - Dan Rather
I watched men much braver than I try to save as many as they could and was humbled by the what I did for a living. I'd spent years helping sales teams improve their numbers and build accounting systems to keep a watch of money and I felt like I should be doing something better. I attempted to find work doing something related to the intelligence community or public service but without a college degree I wasn't going anywhere.
Much of the last eleven years has been a yearning to find work that mattered. I still haven't found it but my sincere hope is that by teaching developers of every kind that I am doing something small to make the world a better place.
(Image courtesy Barry Yanowitz via Flickr. Creative Commons Licensed)