Last night I Finally got round to watching the utterly gripping documentary 911: 102 Minutes that changed the world. It took me back to that day 12 years ago and just that feeling of utter, utter, horror and helplessness. From the moment I flicked on the TV and seeing the First tower a blaze, wondering how an accident like this could happen, to the moment the second plane hit the other tower, and realizing that this was something far, far more sinister. Seeing people fall or jump from the tower, as that was preferable to what was in the tower, the fear and panic. Then the utter horror as the building collapsed with so many trapped in it. All I could do was sit there dumbfounded and watch blankly for the day. I had a mixture of emotions, anger, horror, fear, panic, sadness, a desire for retribution. But most of all what I felt was helplessness, utter helplessness. I was stuck on my sofa and there was nothing I could do to get back at the people who did this.
Flash forward 12 years to the present and the fall out is still felt. The world if you think about it is a bleak and depressing place. And most of us with our 9-5 jobs can feel very small and feel helpless in how we can shape the world and change it. Sure you can vote, but the people you vote for never get into power and you one vote, in the grand scheme of things makes little difference right?
So after all this it was a pretty depressed Russ who rolled out of bed this morning. Then I saw this story:
And I started to feel a little better. Sure its just a few people fixing a bike rack. But they were on a night out, surely all drunks just want to trash things and cause trouble? But at some point they looked at the rack, pondered it and thought “we can do something about this.” And maybe in its own way if we all sat and thought we can do something about this, we can. For a start they’ve fixed something, but people will read that and have there preconceptions about young people and party goes changed. They are not all out to cause trouble and some of them will do something about things they don’t like.
I also recalled something from the Bristol Belter. I was blowing out of my arse, after about 80 odd miles, I was just about still going and we pulled into the last feed station. My friend Tommo turned to me and said “you could go all day couldn’t you.” To which I responded along the lines of I could, but i’m going bloody slow and not as well as you guys. He quipped back with. “yes, but your still lapping the guy on the sofa.” And that helped me saddle up and keep going, I was knackered but I was out there giving it a go.
And then I thought about the little things I’ve done. Be it from cycling to work, ok I do it to save money, but it also helps the environment. In its own small way it does something. If more people did the same it could do a lot. I’ve given to charity, I’ve challenged my lazy lifestyle, I’ve been out of work but fought to get back. By doing something about what you don’t like, you are making a change. It may not seem much, but you are having a go, you are out there doing something.
So I guess what I am saying is, I’d rather try and do a few little things, than be sat on my sofa, feeling helpless, I never want to feel like that again, doing that lets the terrorist win, and that horrible, horrible day becomes a symbol for them. I don’t plan to let them win.