AND Tell the Human Story

September 11th, 2016

As I reflect on the fifteenth anniversary of 9-11 and the way the events of that day have changed us, I found some beautiful parallels and insights in the movie Sully. A film that tells the backstory that never really made the press account of the landing of the US Airways flight on the Hudson River, Sully allows us to hear and experience a story, as told from the point of view of those who experienced the events. Not framed by journalists, not accounted for in ways that make a dramatic story focus on heroics. Not interpreted by others telling us how to think about what happened.

The story was told through the eyes of those who were there. AND we get to experience a bit of their perspective before judging for ourselves what the real story is and what is worth retelling. The heart of the story was the human story. In Sully, as in 9-11, the unwavering commitment of those in charge to do a job well, to produce the best outcome for the passengers, was matched by the responses of passengers who expressed gratitude for pilots and rescue workers who train every day to do their jobs well for the greater good.

AND yet, the bigger economic systems focused on looking for pilot error, someone to blame, instead of trying to really hear the story of a skilled and exceptional pilot and find out how that version of the story could be true. When any large system—whether a government, industry, company, or political entity such as a country—looks for a scapegoat someone to blame when the world doesn’t unfold as we would like, we miss the real story. The humanity, raw talent and experience, the deep caring and pride in doing a job well get lost amidst the bigger media hype.

As we reflect back on the heroics of 9-11, the passengers on a plane that was deliberately crashed to avert a greater imminent danger, the first responders who rushed into the burning and collapsing towers, the unnamed individuals who stepped up to help those in need, we have the opportunity to recognize a bigger story. Yes, we deal with terrorism today. AND the humanity, the heart, the desire to help others, the pride in doing our jobs well and making a meaningful impact on the world are bigger and ever-present. Why is that not the story we seek to tell?

What will it take to focus on our gifts, talents, and humanity over economics and power?

The world has changed a lot in the past fifteen years. AND it is still our humanity and willingness to stand by compassion, heroism that comes from living our truth, and doing the best we can with what we have that will allow us to remember tell the real story. AND the time is now.

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