I consider myself lucky to be born where I was born, with the luxuries that I have. Clean drinking water right out of my tap, a roof over my head, food on my table. I watch the news and see people that live in war zones, like Iraq and Afghanistan, and know people in the military that have fought in both places during the height of the war there.
I feel for these people, I fear for them, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to live under a constant veil of fear. That’s what I’m talking about, because as much as I sympathize, I can’t empathize. I’ve lived my life up to this point with virtually no fear of an outside attack. The most scared I’ve ever been was on September 11, 2001, when I heard on the radio that a second plane had struck the World Trade Center. The first one I could assume was a tragic accident. The second one showed for sure that there was something sinister happening. The news of a crash at the Pentagon made my stomach roll over in fear.
I felt this way, and yet I was so removed from the situation. Miles away, no one I knew personally affected directly by these tragic events. I sat and watched, horrified, with the rest of the world, but though this was the first time that I ever wondered how events like these would change my life as I knew it, I was still just a spectator.
In less than a week, there have been two bomb threats on border crossings between the cities of Windsor and Detroit. The first one was at the Tunnel that runs under water connecting the two cities and countries. The second one at the Ambassador Bridge that spans the Detroit River, linking the two as well. Both incidents shut down the crossings for a number of hours. Thankfully, neither amounted to anything more than a huge inconvenience for travelers, and probably tons of cash and man hours investigating the threats.
This one hit close to home though. Windsor is right down the 401 from us – I can get there by car in just over 2 hours. We have friends in Windsor. Family in Windsor and Detroit. Even though it appears that there was no danger after all, it sure made me think about it and realize, just as those people in New York and Virginia who went to work on 9/11 totally unsuspecting and never thinking that anything could happen to them, anything is possible.
It makes you wonder what this world is coming to. But also, it makes you think about people that live under a constant threat all the time. Who go to bed at night knowing full well that it is a real possibility that a bomb could fall on their house. Or could go shopping to have a suicide bomber blow up 5 feet from them. Those people don’t wonder what the world is coming to, because it has always been their reality.
We all have hardships and tough times. We all deal with them differently. Everyone has blessings too. We, when compared to the rest of the planet are like individual grains of sand. As this world gets smaller and smaller and threats seem to happen closer to home, it helps to put things into perspective and if not totally, at least a little bit – helps us to understand what it might be like to live in their shoes.