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07/08/2011

The Texas Rangers, 9/11 & a perspective so easily forgotten

206383_Rangers_Greenberg One of the words being thrown around quite a bit in light of the tragic death of the fan at the Texas Rangers game on July 7 in Arlington is "perspective".

An event as tragic as this offers immediate perspective. Perspective about mortality. Perspective about the fragility of life. Perspective that triggers us to focus on what really is important in life.

And in a few months we are going to hear that word over and over and over again. This Sept. 11 is the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in NYC, D.C. and Shanksville, Penn. Tragedies have a way of offering a perspective that we all collectively say will allow us to focus on why we should enjoy today because tomorrow is not guaranteed. That this time we're going to put down the phone more. Text less. Spend more time traveling. And make a deliberate effort to work less, and don't sweat the little stuff quite as much.

Immediately after 9/11 we probably made an effort to talk to our families just a little bit more. America saw a spike in divorces, and marriages. People didn't want to wait. It was the ultimate perspective that an entire generation of Americans were forced to acknowledge.

But September of 2001 turned to January of 2002. And January of 2002 moved on to June of 2005. Pretty soon we all began to delve into our phones just a bit more because these phones offer the Net. Words for Friends. Live scoring of our fantasy teams.

Now we talk into our Bluetooth as we drive while our kid sits in their car seat watching a DVD. The friend we meant to stay closer to we haven't talked in years because we had to catch up on our DVR, but Facebook is just as good.

Maybe we had to pick up another job because everything is more expensive these days, or private school's tuition just went up by three percent again so we had to work Christmas.

Pretty soon the perspective shoved down your throat by 9/11 is completely forgotten until something like a Texas Rangers game on July 7, 2011 offers it again.

Most of us will forget this perspective soon enough as we will again get caught up in solving the day's problems that come with every sun rise rather than enjoy a few moments of its light and warmth.

But maybe someone, somewhere will hold onto the perspective that a massive tragedy like a 9/11, or a personal one like a man dying after reaching to catch a baseball, can offer.

It's a perspective that we somehow all agree we should follow, yet most of us never do until the tragedy visits our own home.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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