I don't want to live my life in fear every day of what might happen. Driving to work could turn in to an unpredictable disaster.
However, I fear that we have gotten use to the "potential for disaster" from terrorists and have learned to live with it and not really believe it's ever going to happen again. That is a dangerous state of mind for the population of a nation this size to be in.
After 9-11, I dare say the majority of the nation's population made some type of preparation in case another attack might be forthcoming. But with years having passed, plots thwarted before they came to fruition and no sign of imminent danger made known to the general public, people have once again grown comfortable and embraced a sense of "ease." We may never get back to the sense of security we felt as a nation before 9-11, but maybe we really shouldn't.
Keeping a supply of canned goods and extra water is a good idea at any time. Disasters don't have to come from deliberate hands of political enemies. They can come in the form of natural disasters - tornado, drought, flooding, blizzard or fire. They can come from an unexpected shut down of the trucking industry or highway problems that cut off the flow of food supplies to any specific area of the country. A disease epidemic could shut things down or make us not want to risk our lives by going to the grocery store or just out in public.
I don't know if any of those things should be a real concern in my lifetime, but it just makes sense to be prepared in some simple ways. Extra covers, extra food and water stored away, a supply of vitamins, having basic first aid supplies... these little things might mean a lot when we least expect it. I've also heard recently that it is a good idea to have at least $200 tucked away in $1 bills.
I have some extra food, cover and water, but I admit, that's about it. I never keep extra money in the house or in my wallet. My check is direct deposited and I pay my bills with checks. Very little cash flows through my hands or my house.
I think living in rural areas has given us country folk a false sense of safety. We assume that imminent danger would be for those in greater population areas -New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Washington, D.C. After all, what is there here that would cause terrorists to target us? We have no factories, are sparsely populated, produce little food or products of national interest, and have no military installments. It seems natural to think we would be very low priority for a deliberate act of harm.
I surely hope that thinking is on target.
For our nation at large, my gut feeling is that trouble is looking for a place to land. It may not be today, or even tomorrow, but the chances are strong that it will happen again some day. As a nation, our enemies are many and our friends are few. Other nations may want our trade, our military might, our allegiance and our finances, but at the same time I've read and heard that most other nations hold the United States in contempt. They believe we are spoiled, lazy and undeserving of the blessings that have been ours in the United States of America.
In the history of the world, we are a young nation that has risen quickly to power, wealth nd prestige. Let us pray that the arrogance and sense of entitlement that has been born out of our success as a nation does not cause us to deteriorate and fall to ruin just as other great civilizations have done, such as the Roman Empire. They were so much at ease in their affluence, they didn't even recognize the beginning of the end - from the inside.
While I would not want to see our population turn in to one that lives in fear, constantly tormented by unfulfilled possibilities of destruction, I also would not want us to be totally blind and unprepared for the repeat of a 9-11 on a much grander scale. Worry doesn't solve anything. Our energy is better spent in other ways.
Right after this national tragedy, our president charged us to be "vigilant." We need to have our eyes open to our surroundings and normal daily activities that go on in our communities, be prepared to face each day, and remain vigilant.