A good day?

Today was a good day in my life. I had a wonderful breakfast with my mom, I fixed a bug in my software that had been haunting me for days, and I started working with some great new students.

And yet it is the eleventh of September. How can it be a good day? I still recall, as though it was just yesterday, the unspeakable murder of thousands of my fellow New Yorkers. What does it mean when one has experienced the anniversary of such a horror as a “good day”?

One possible answer lies in what is meant by “good”. My day was filled with love and connection with a diverse group of people — of many ethnicities, many religions and countries of origin — all of whom enrich my life with their kindness and their ability to be open to the wondrous diversity of humankind.

We seem to be in a dark time these days, when crass opportunists rise to power by appealing to fear, tribalism and xenophobia. This kind of hateful and destructive view of the world is the sort of thinking that led to that tragic day seventeen years ago.

We can best defy such hate by working together, side by side, to bring wondrous things into existence. I cherish the people in our lab who are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, and Null, and they cherish each other. Together we defy the forces of hate by working together to build a kinder and more beautiful world.

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