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Time passes, doubts emerge, conspiracy theories bloom, community decays into backbiting. People pass rumors without even a cursory check as to their truth, and hold forth at length no matter how questionable the basis for their opinions. Getting on with our lives, unfortunately, seems to mean for many of us either a return to cynicism or to the kinds of things that make people cynical.

I have said upon occasion that I am not sure I believe in any such thing as "human nature," and it is because it seems impossible to reconcile into a singularity those whose first thought was "can I help?" or who still risk their lives in the recovery effort, with those first thought was "can I profit?" or who are even now venting their anger on the innocent.

As far as I can see, the only good that can arise in the end from circumstances such as these is that those who witness them might grow in wisdom. While we are shocked and naked, our armor of irony shattered, look at what lies within. I have been more than startled by some of the things I learned about myself and those around me this past week. Our reactions to events of this magnitude say much about who we really are. Don't let that knowledge pass away unheeded.

One last note—I've never really addressed this fact before, although I've meant to do so: this site receives hits from all over the world, from Norway to New Zealand, Ireland to India.

Be well, all of you.

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Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 2003 Rebecca J. Stevenson