We Americans can be so insular. Unlike Europe which is a hodgepodge of languages and nationalities a stone’s throw apart, we have basically been isolated and on our own, a leader and a superpower among nations. That’s why the average American born and raised here only knows one language. That’s all we needed and wanted to know, perhaps until recently. In Europe where those with different mother tongues share borders, it is nearly impossible to get by with only one language.
It’s our geography and history, our place in the world that made us so certain and so insular, and that’s why we were broad sided by 9/11. We didn’t think if could happen here because things like that only happen over there. In Israel, bombings happen on a daily basis, yet the press often blames the victims rather than the perps. The same thing recently happened in New Delhi, Mumbai, in Stockholm and in a train station in London and Madrid. All over there, yet brought on by the same people the world has made rich because of their natural resource of oil. Yet our response has been to look the other way because it was always over there. But now we (sort of) know that you can’t look the other way because they can fly planes and will eventually come over here.
When I went to work that day in ten years ago, all eyes were on the TV and of the footage of the twin towers collapsing in a plume of smoke like a fallen ballerina. It happened there, not here, yet TV’s were turned on all day and my coworkers never stopped talking about it. Maybe it shows that with all our diverse cultures, languages, creeds and races that we really are all quite similar underneath.