Remembering September 11th: No Where To Go But Forward

This summer, on the coast of North Carolina where I live, we endured wildfires, an earthquake, tornadoes and a hurricane — all within a two-week period that ended two weeks shy of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.

I mention this because, as I watched the wind and rain beat the trees into submission outside my window, I realized two things: (1) Everything we possess can be gone in a heartbeat; and (2) stories of hope and heroes emerge in the aftermath of disaster.

As horrific as 9-11 was, what’s broadcast in the media today is less about the catastrophe and more about the survivors and how they have moved on with their lives. The “Today” show this week interviewed a woman who, against the odds and through raw determination, recovered after being burned over 80% of her body by fire in one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Lauren Manning has authored a book chronicling her ordeal. During the interview, she echoed the sentiments of other survivors when she said, “There’s no where to go but forward. You get over it and you get through it. I would never surrender.”

Here at home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, neighbors are helping neighbors rally and retrieve the remnants of their lives. For many, the road to recovery is not dependent upon concrete highways, but upon the kindness of others.

While the so-called dismal housing market is not on the same scale as natural disasters and terrorism, they all magnify a side of Americans that is too often ignored. In our core, we are grit and gratitude.

It is here that hope buds and heroes are born. Not the chest-thumping, glory-seeking heroes, but the behind-the-scenes kind. Those who quietly say they aren’t hungry when they know there isn’t enough food to go around.

We need more everyday heroes like that in the new-home market. Salespeople who stand up to the challenge … and stand out from the crowd. Who not only survive, but proclaim, “I refuse to dwell on what was or what could have been. There’s no where to go but forward. I’ll get over it. I’ll get through it. And along the way, I’ll help others do the same.”

People today need the security of a home as much as they need Homeland Security. And they need you to persevere with them through the tough times while keeping your sense of compassion, strength of character and steadfast commitment. Do this and later you will find that, as a Portuguese proverb states, “what was hard to bear can be sweet to remember.”

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