Have you grown numb from the glacier of information that has descended upon us since the terrorists' attacks of September 11? The first week I was pretty much stuck to my television like a tongue to a cold flagpole. Then it snowballed. There was too much information. Too many facets. Too many shows and specials. It turned into an avalanche.
I stopped watching the television. CDs replaced my usual morning talk radio. Newspapers piled up in the family room. I don't know if the reality was sinking in, or I was stressed out from dealing with the reality of what had happened. I felt helpless. I could not do anything for the people in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or any of the airplanes that crashed. I can't give blood. I did send a check to the Red Cross. That was the least I could do. But as British Statesman Edmund Burke said, "All that is needed for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
So what could I really do that would make a difference? I decided that the best thing I could do is to keep the faith. I believe in this country. I believe the economy will improve. I believe the finishing industry will rebound from this recession. I believe that the one GE stove I bought three weeks ago makes a difference to this economy. I will not cancel any trips because they involve air travel. Sure, I will be more cautious, but I will not let fear control my life. I will do as Ralph Waldo Emerson suggested, "Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."
Even if it is something as simple as persistence and faith in the face of uncertainty, I believe my little part can help not only myself, but my country, my community, my industry, my family and the world.
Each snowflake is delicate and unique; however, together they can create a powerful and dominant force. We need to confidently continue our way of life, and not be ruled by fear. I've used a number of quotes in this editorial. They inspire me. I will close with one of my favorites from Helen Keller, "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."