Tough decision? Compared to what?

I was eating breakfast. Typical grub. A dozen egg whites and oatmeal. Lots of coffee. Once done, off to the gym. The house had a small 10 inch TV secured up under the pantry cabinet. The news was on. Fox News. Breaking News. A small piece of a plane was sticking out of the building. I thought, what a dumb ass, someone flew their small plane into the building. I drank, cooked and watched. They showed a view of a plane in flight. I thought it was a replay. It was a big passenger plane, not a small plane. I said to myself, ‘I was wrong, it was a big plane, not a small plane…ok…so, how could that—’ The camera angle changed. It was not a replay. It was a second plane. Damn…

Each image throughout the morning grew more surreal and gruesome. None more so than the ones of those who jumped to their deaths rather than burn to one. Still today, none more so.

When I began speaking on college campuses in 2003, I carried around one of the photos of this horror. It was a shot of the burning World Trade Center, a couple, probably strangers, balanced on a window sill, flames roaring behind them, other bodies in view dropping mid-air, certainly struck with indescribable fear, each horrifically stuck in this life-ending bond having to encourage one another to jump to death.

I told the kids I used the image to remind myself that that was a tough decision to have to make, and any I ever have to make will never compare. None of theirs, either. I’d be in prison right now if I’d smacked every punk kid who snickered.

That picture sits framed on top of my desk. I look at it every morning. It reminds me. It makes me somber. It makes me appreciate. It makes me cringe. It makes me angry. It makes me care. It inspires me. It gives me courage. Still, since that day, no tough decision I’ve had to make compares. All my life, I imagine, never.

Always Believe,


9 Responses to “Tough decision? Compared to what?”
  1. Pete Lopeno says:

    I still remember the first article you wrote about that picture… Still a very somber and inspirational sentiment… I know I will always remember 9/11.

  2. I remember that day like it was yesterday. i was in BOCES and around 9 in the morning, We had the radio on and it stopped playing music to tell us a plane crashed at the world trade ceneter. I was thinking “That was an accident!” but then, The second plane crtashed and now…This was no accident, this was a planed attack.
    I live in Long Island, NY so this all happen not so far from me. My mother picked me up from school and we went to a CVS and when i say it was a ghost town, It was a ghost town! Everyone started to panic. I gave a man 50 cents to call his family to help him out.
    I can still hear every siren around me go off in my head.

  3. illusion says:

    Great post. That image really puts things in perspective.

    By the way, not to divert from the point of your post, but how do you have (process) your egg whites?

  4. butch1dc says:

    I thought i was the only one. I have a pic of a man tumbling from Time. It’s eerie, almost as if the man was already asleep in mid flight. They bury this footage as too gruesome yet it’s the only way people remember the horrific attacks. The attack shouldn’t be stuffed under the carpet. This was the only time in my life that American’s cared for one another and all fought for the same cause. On the insurance end, if they go socialized I’m basically bankrupt. I’m a chiropractor and Medicare has already cut fees so bad that we get paid next to nothing for office visits. That fee schedule will fly across the board if Obama’s health care reform goes into action. I’m gonna need some serious help.

  5. urbandaddy says:

    And right you are.

    A horrible image from a terrifying day.

    Your analogy about making decisions will stay with me forever.

  6. johndoe says:

    pretty fucking inspirational man, thanks..

  7. Let me just say that when I was a little boy you were my most favorite hero of any action hero period. I was born in 81. No one compared to you in action hero status. And I am grateful to have such a hero that finds the time to post his thoughts and respond to people instead of being completely absorbed in worldly things. I havent thought about you in years nearly twenty when someone mentioned you and I had a relapse into the past. But now that things are so much different than in those times or at least they are to me, I cant help but wonder how The Ultimate Warrior feels about how 9/11 has been used to destroy America as the final death knell. Does the Warrior love YHWH and Yahoshua and serve them? What does the Warrior believe now I ask myself. Whatever the answer I want you to know I still love you man.

  8. T says:

    This is the most inspiring thing I have read in who knows how long.

  9. Keith Booker says:

    Dear Warrior,

    I just want to say that you are and inspiration. I love reading all of your posts. They are insightful and awe inspiring. I am a disabled veteran. I served in the United States Navy until I broke my L4 of my spine, and at that time I ripped every muscle in my lower back and now have permanent nerve damage as well. But, the cool thing is like you have said before that pain lets you know you are alive. I pushed myself until I was able to walk again and now I can run as well. I also wake up everyday and go to work live a fulfilling life. I would like to close with tough decisions and all experiences good or bad do shape us as the people we are, but what truly defines you is how you choose to live with them. Thank you for being who you are really not who everyone expects you to be.

    Keith Booker

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