What Defines Us?

19 years ago, on 9/11/2001, terrorists struck America. And it, or rather how we responded, came to define the first decade of the 21st century. Then, in the 2010s, the world reeled from the Great Recession, and in many ways it defined the second decade.

And now our world is in the throes of an invisible enemy that will likely impact more lives over time than even the decades of terrorism or recession did. Will the coronavirus pandemic define the 2020s? Very likely. It seems every decade, more-or-less, has one defining crisis that impacts the culture and individuals more than any other–sometimes positively, sometimes negatively, usually both.

Will we draw together as never before, relieved that we finally can, developing a renewed sense of the value of community? Or will we pull apart, embracing the alienation and mistrust that have become so familiar to us? Will we learn to communicate better? Or will we assault one another with dubious “facts” and continually shifting shadow-opinions, and call that communication? Will we define the world we inherit?

Or will it define us?

    “You are here to make a difference, to either improve the world or worsen it. And whether or not you consciously choose to, you will accomplish one or the other.”         ~Richelle E. Goodrich

“We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.” ~Madeleine L’Engle

“So live life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life, but as those who do.” ~Ephesians 5:15

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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22 Responses to What Defines Us?

  1. Bruce Cooper says:

    Good question Mitch. Based on what I see, I’m not overly optimistic that we will draw together. I’m starting to think that there must be something in the water. Blessings!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We definitely need to accept the world is a different place now. I abhor how the virus has become a political issue in the US rather than a medical crisis.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. amen, it does not seem like we are going to pull together though. There is still hope

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Madeleine L’Engle was right. We have to be braver than we think we can be. Braver than we know how to be. We have to speak the truth in love, but speak it to power nonetheless… and not just the truth as we would like it or prefer it to be, but the truth as it is. My professor, Ted Peters, who preached at my ordination said this: “A pastor has two basic jobs: to proclaim the Gospel and to love the people. Neither of those are as easy as they sound.” I think what he said for pastors is really true for all of us. We need to keep holding up God’s vision for the Kin-dom on earth as it is in heaven while doing our best to love our neighbors as ourselves, to bear all things, hope all things, believe all things, sometimes in spite of all other things.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. The East is rich in wet and green, the west dry and burning, what a shame. Two parties race to win the ring, we shall wait until November to see what this Merry Go-round will bring. It’s not a pretty picture Mitch. To all my brothers who served during Viet Nam, “Welcome Home.”

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Piano girl says:

    Wow! “…whether or not you consciously choose to, you will accomplish one or the other.” That is powerful!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Julia says:

    We could let circumstances define us, but it is who we are in Christ that defines how we react to anything that is before us. This world is forever changing yet Christ is the same yesterday,today and forever and we can take comfort in that He said “I have overcome the world” No fear in Him though all that surrounds us may fall apart.Blessings Mitch.
    Julia

    Liked by 3 people

  8. tabswindow says:

    I am clapping! Well penned!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. China Dream says:

    enjoyed this missive.. thank YOU.. a lot to ponder.. how will we react indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My constant prayer is that we find a way to unite and not continually divide our nation.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love the second quote by Madeleine L’Engle. And we have to still believe there is hope (even though it is hard sometimes)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Chioma says:

    No, we will not let this define us. We are stronger than we think

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Helen says:

    I think we will be stronger because that is what America stands for 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks Mitch – good words for today. I remember being in a small city in SE Minnesota when the September 11th attacks happened. Strangers were reaching out to each other. It seemed like everyone was intent in letting other people know their life was valued and we were all in the aftermath together.

    Liked by 1 person

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