September 11, 2013

Commemorating Hope

Hello there. I can only imagine how many people in the blogsphere are talking about this day, but I have some words that I'd like to share with you, so thank you for visiting and taking the time to read this. 

As some of you may know, I visited New York City last June. The city left me wide-eyed and amazed. Broadway shows, the dazzling lights of Times Square, outstanding pizza, Chinatown, the Empire State Building... Each of these parts of New York, so beautiful and fantastic in its own way.

The most memorable part of my trip, however, was visiting the 9/11 Memorial. The memorial itself is an impressive sight, a work of art, giving tribute to families, friends, and strangers. However, it's the stories that made the experience so impactful.
While being there, I heard several stories that just tear at my heartstrings. If you ever meet somebody who was in the city at the time, ask them to share their story, or take some time to think about these stories, to remember the grief that Americans everywhere experienced--then you'll know what I'm feeling right now.

Even as they stood in the ashes, they didn't give up. Instead, they did the exact opposite, comforting each other, networking, struggling to stand when there was so much weighing down. When so much was lost, people took what they still had and shared it with each other: hope.

Hope is one of the most powerful things in this world, and I could even argue that at times it is stronger than love. Hope is what causes people kneeling at the bottom of a dark pit of despair to just look up and see the light that is there, far but attainable.

The Survivor Tree
Today, I challenge you to listen to stories, to share hope, and inspire love and gratitude in the people around you. Start by telling your friends and family how much they mean to you, and let it blossom from there.

Keep hope sacred.

Open up your heart, and let it take over you.

And have a blessed day,
-Riley XO

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