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Power of one

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Never have I felt so vulnerable and alone, yet so close to family and friends and to people around the world as I do today. The personal losses I experienced this year have taught me the preciousness of life alongside moments of profound pain. This is a time when I, and others suffering losses, get to look at the important sources of strength, and what are the fantasies — surface pictures of success — that can be destructive.

Our society has begun to honor just folks again. Sept. 11 reminded us of the power of one — to hurt many or to help them. It reminded us about the difference between celebrities and heroes — people who thought of others before themselves; those who did their job well, beyond the call of duty for the benefit of others.

Let’s not forget about the nature of power especially when one loses touch with the community of men and women, whether you are the head of a company, a terrorist organization, a social club or even a family.

Before we distance ourselves too quickly from what we call evil, it’s important to understand where we are similar, not just different.

The suicide part, for example, is sadly not just the method of choice of terrorists trying to be heard, but of our teenagers, too.

How do we value ourselves as well as others? How well do we listen to what is troubling us or another?

Perhaps we’re ready as a nation to discuss the meaning of that phrase in our Declaration of Independence that tends to get brushed off on the heels of the more profound rights of "life and liberty." What do we mean by "the pursuit of happiness?"

How does what we’ve learned over the past year help us to understand it? Sharon Luckerman is a staff writer for the Jewish

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