In the September of Our Lives

Tim - Evergreen, Colorado
Entered on September 19, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

September is a time of change, as one half of the world makes the transition from summer to fall, and the other half moves from winter to spring. The force of opposites working together on a common globe that spins around the sun gives me a sense of hope as I reflect on important dates of the month.

Of course, there’s 9/11 which, to borrow from Franklin Roosevelt, is a date that will live in infamy. There’s also September 21, honored as the International Day of Peace. It’s as though those two dates are like goal posts on a football field that two halves of our world battle between—there are those who wield violence and those who cherish peace.

Near the 50-yard line of that playing field is September 17, a day that represents the fulcrum upon which 9/11 and 9/21 teeter back and forth. It came and went this year as it usually does—fairly mundanely. Yet, it is the anniversary of the signing of the longest standing constitution in the history of the world—the U.S. Constitution. 9/17 is officially designated as “Constitution Day” in our country, but it just doesn’t seem to make the headlines. So, people tend to take it for granted.

That’s a shame because the Constitution represents a solution to the battling forces on the September-football-field of change. You might call it the rulebook of the game. A Native American document called “The Great Law of Peace” is recorded to have been very influential on our Founding Fathers as they struggled between themselves to hammer out the details of the Constitution. Like a host of sacred documents, The Great Law of Peace first existed as an oral tradition—the sacredness of the spoken word. It came about as a result of warring tribes willing to sit down, listen to each other, and literally bury their hatchets—living more peacefully within a government that is now labeled as the Iroquois Confederacy. It is the longest known democracy in history—an obscure fact that seems incredible not to be more recognized. Curiously enough, a number of experts believe that this agreement was reached on August 31, 1142—the Eve of September.

With so much violence and all sorts of human suffering in the news, I like to reflect on the hopefulness that exists in the heart of September, albeit, obscurely. But it’s there, when I look for it.

I believe that forgiveness is a most vital human quality that is often taken for granted, and has the power to heal any relationship I have—with another person, a group, or with the entire world. A true hero in my book is that person who has the raw courage to muster sincere forgiveness towards anyone. I like to think, as my mind goes back and forth between events of terror and efforts towards peace, that I can be such a courageous unsung hero in my own way. And September is the perfect time to celebrate that!