Sunday, April 24, 2005

Now that's WJWD

How Cool is That? Item #2

Sally Goodrich of Bennington, Vermont, who lost her son Peter in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, recently visited Afghanistan to witness a miracle she helped make happen.

After the 2001 tragedy, rather than harboring a hatred for the nation who produced her son's murderers and cheering for it to be bombed back to the Bronze Age, Ms. Goodrich learned more about it, including its horrific treatment of women. She then worked to raise $180,000 to build a new girls' school in Surkh Abat, a town near Kabul.

"Peter would be all about trying to understand why the event happened," Goodrich said, adding that she had read about Afghanistan intensively before her trip and has been promoting learning about Afghanistan in schools back home.

"Had he the opportunity that day to listen to the hijackers, to sit down and talk to them, that would have been his inclination."

I can make no comment that won't sound obvious and sentimental. But Goodrich's case made me wonder if--on a smaller scale, of course--there might be a redemptive potential to the negative in all our lives. If I could turn my own grief or anger or guilt into something that would benefit others or at least shed some light on the human condition (whatever that means), then my life would have been worthwhile.

I guess that's reason #14 why I write novels. But #13 has to do with my love of pajamas, so don't go thinking I'm noble or nothin'.


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Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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