I titled this with “take 2” because I already attempted to write this post once. In fact, I was completely finished with it when the “reload page” button was accidentally pressed and the entire post was lost in cyberspace. In the light of it B’ing about Perseverance, I decided it better to write it again. ;-)
I saw it weeks ago, but I still can’t get the image out of my head.
I’m in awe. I’m inspired. I’m moved to tears.
I wonder what I would have done in the same situation. I can’t even begin to imagine.
Two weeks ago I had the privilege of traveling to NYC with a dear friend. We both agreed visiting the 911 Memorial Museum was a must. Our 1st full day in the city, there we were; traversing through the remains of the Twin Towers. Silent amidst the rubble. Soaking in the stories of those who lost their lives that grim day and those who survived.
There was one artifact in particular that I likely would have passed on by, had it not been for our thorough tour guide. (If you’re planning a trip to the 911 Memorial, tour guide is a must!) In a small container, protected from dust and harsh lightning, was an unassuming small piece of metal, slightly mangled on the ends, that I wouldn’t have blinked an eye at.
The story of the squeegee is one of bravery, valor, determination, faith, hope, and perseverance. And so it goes…
It was the morning of 9/11/2001. The North Tower had been struck by an airplane and those inside were in a frenzy. A window cleaner, along with 4 other frantic WTC employees scurried into a nearby elevator hopeful to escape. The power went out on their descent. The elevator stopped.
I cannot fathom the thoughts they were having. The feelings. The fears.
It wasn’t long before the window cleaner used his willpower and squeegee to pry open the elevator doors. They found a wall staring back at them. Stopped in between floors, power out, serious danger…and the window cleaner began beating the wall with his squeegee. It didn’t take long for the squeegee to break and pieces of it to fall down the elevator shaft. He kept on smashing into the wall with what remained of the squeegee. Still yet, more of the squeegee broke off and fell out of sight. Using what little remained of the squeegee, a small piece of metal, no larger than the palm of one’s hand, the man eventually created a hole in the wall large enough for a body to squeeze through.
One by one they spilled out into a men’s restroom. An exterior window was spotted and from there they made their escape. It wasn’t long after, the entire tower collapsed.
WOW. Just WOW. I need to sit with that awhile.
To B in that position. To have your life and the lives of others depend on your ability to think fast and not give up. To have the faith to believe there was a chance at getting out.
Many of us will never B in this same position. I sure hope not. But we WILL B in the position of making decisions everyday. Will we B frozen by fear? Stopped by doubt? Paralyzed by comparison?
Truth is, burning building or not, we all get 1 life to live. And every day is a gift. One that we ought not take for granted. Perhaps if we were stuck in the elevator of a burning building, we would act NOW. But we’re not, and so often we act not now but WHEN…WHEN the kids are grown…WHEN I’m done with school…WHEN I lose 10 pounds…
Not to B morbid, but what if those days WHEN never come? Will we B happy with how we’ve lived our TODAY?
Let’s treat each day like the gift it is and B PRESENT in our lives. In our relationships. Our careers. Our health. Our hobbies. Let’s not live an “I’d rather B…” life, but rather have the PERSEVERANCE it takes to escape from “going through the motions” to leading a life we love.
One. Step. At. A. Time. And when our squeegee handle breaks…