Editor’s Note: The essay below was written in 2001 and appears in the self-published book, Through Our Eyes: A Tapestry of Words and Images in Response to September 11. Printed and distributed in 2002, the book was the result of an independent, volunteer documentary project organized by a journalist and several friends. The author’s bio was written in 2002 and has not been updated.
Chicago, Los Angeles, Sydney, Bangkok … Just a few of the places you may find the charming Colm Mooney in the next few months. The 23-year-old from Dublin, Ireland, is taking a break from his accounting work/studies – “boring,” he says – and setting out to explore the world, solo. In the past, he’s visited European resorts and the U.S. East Coast. Colm likes all sports, including football (“to you guys, soccer”) and pretty much anything social. He is Roman Catholic. It was 2 p.m. in Dublin when terrorists struck America. Colm was at work, and he promptly got on the Internet. He wrote his essay, titled “Cris-A-Tunity,” Sept. 18 and also sent some intriguing photos of the American Embassy in Dublin.
The Japanese use the same word for crisis as they do opportunity. I’m not too sure what this word is as I am not from Japan, but Homer Simpson calls it “cris-a-tunity.”
The events this month have certainly thrown the world into crisis – but also provide much opportunity. The awe-inspiring expressions of grief and love that I have seen over the past week fill me with tremendous hope. Make no mistake – these events have revived our spirits. We have seen this in the rescue workers in New York, the volunteers who donated blood and in all those, worldwide, who expressed their grief so compassionately.
We have an obligation to channel our spirits and our energy into forming a new, brighter and more peaceful world, so the generations to follow will never know the pain and loss that so many are feeling today. Please, let’s use this fantastic opportunity to change the world. It’s not too much to ask.