Remember 9/11 and Make a Difference

Real Estate Agent with McGraw Realtors

9/11 Missing Twin TowersBecause today is 9/11, we all have thoughts on our minds about the terrible tragedy and loss of life in New York City on that fateful day.  Today is indeed a day to remember, reflect and never forget.

But is that all there is?  Remembering?  Reflecting?  Not forgetting?

Without being holier than thou, can I add something to the discussion of 9/11?  While we remember and seek to honor those who lost their lives innocently, let us also seek to be better people ourselves because of 9/11. 

I've been thinking about this all week as this day got closer and closer.  If I had been on one of those airplanes or in the Pentagon or in one of the towers and had lost my life that day, what would I have left behind?  Would there be a legacy that my children and Diane would be able to point to and be proud of?  Or do I just sell Real Estate for a living?

9/11 makes me want to evalute my life.  It makes me want to say, "What different have I made in the life of someone else?"  And it makes me eager to be a person whom others know as one who has integrity and does good and believes in others and tries to make the world a better place.


Because I have not always been these things.  I have failed to care about others, at times.  I have failed to engage in order to effect positive change when I know I should have.  I have not loved Diane in the way I always should have nor have I always been the best dad I could have been.  I have not chosen to be a big brother and I never volunteered to be a teacher's helper.  And there are myriad other things that I have not done that I could have done and probably should have done. 

Do I just sell real estate or am I doing something positive and leaving a legacy?

I won't go into the long version of the story, but through some God led events, Diane and I now help a tiny little church.  It's mostly older people who like things the way they like things.  It drives me crazy most days when we are there.  But then there are the kids.  We have a group of around 25 Jr Highers and High School kids who come from mostly broken families.  They don't have a lot of resources.  And most of them don't have much hope to do much beyond high school.

Can you see beyond right now?My job is to help them dream dreams.  To help them see that they can become anything they want to become.  To help them go further than they think they can go.  And to invoke a fire within them that will cause them to become change agents and leaders among their peers and in their lives well beyond Jr High and High School.  Most days this is pretty tough.  Most of them don't have a lot of dreams or much hope.  I don't know if I'll get through to any of these kids, but they are my project.  I believe in them.  And I will seek to invest in them because so many others don't.

There are other ways that 9/11 makes me want to be a better person also.  Many days I don't do a very good job at living a life of integrity and being kind to others and making the world a better place, and giving Diane more attention than real estate demands and engaging my own (now grown) kids, but this day...this tragic day reminds me that life is short and these things are more important.

And 9/11 reminds me of this also.  What we do today and everyday can make a difference for good.

When we remember.


Twin Towers picture courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons:

Rain puddle picture courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons:

Originally Posted at: My Owasso Home

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Bob Haywood
Bob Haywood
Owasso, Oklahoma REALTOR®

(918) 272-7272

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Comments (33)


Bob, some very good thoughts to honor 911.  Best Regards and God Bless.

Sep 11, 2010 07:19 AM
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

My best friend died that day in the Pentagon.  We established a scholarship fund in her honor (The Angie Houtz Memorial Fund) for exactly the reasons you mentioned.  It was a way for her life and death to not feel so senseless and for us to use her wonderful example to help other people.  To date we have given out $45,000 in scholarships.  The fund is run entirely by my husband and I and her two sisters and their husbands.  We solicit donations, organize fundraisers, and read through all the applications.  It's a lot of work but it's fulfilling because it helps create a larger sense of purpose beyond just working day to day.  Thanks for reminding us all to use this tragedy to become better people. 

Sep 11, 2010 07:24 AM
Tony Mendez
Florida Mortgage Solutions, South Florida - Pembroke Pines, FL
Certified Mortgage Advisor

Great point, Bob.  Life is more than just about our self.  It's about making a difference, espcially in others' lives.  I was fortunate enough that day to escape with my life, but not the memories--I worked across the street from the Towers.  Every year at this time, a select group of friends/family wish me a happy birthday.  I always think what if. . .but am so grateful every time I look at my two-year old son.

Sep 11, 2010 07:41 AM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Bob -- Your post is very is very inspiring.  We all have shortcomings, myself included, I think it's just part of of the maturation process.  I try to effect positive change in people's lives, mainly financial, by starting my own real estate brokerage, as if I can implement ways to increase a seller's net financial bottom line so they can in turn use that money that they may not otherwise happen, I view that as helping a person/family, one at a time and it's immensely rewarding for me.  Different goals/criteria for buyers, some overlap a seller in reverse, but this can also be rewarding as home is so important, so helping a buyer make a wise financial and practical decision is also immensely rewarding.  On a personal level, I determined before my kids were born that I only get one shot at being the best dad I could be, so I strive for that everyday.  I also try to be kind and be a good steward of the environment and give financially to various causes.  At this point in time, that's all I feel I can effectively give without sacrificing time for my family.  So, I feel pretty good, but I do recognize there is always so much more to do that it's disheartening at times, after having traveled the world, to see the vast disparities on this planet.

Sep 11, 2010 07:47 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Bob,  Another great read.  I'm just thankful that idiot in northern Florida didn't follow through with the Kuran burning !

Sep 11, 2010 08:18 AM
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ

Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember when this tragedy happened and all of us were a little kinder to one another all across this nation?

May we not forget.

Sep 11, 2010 08:22 AM
Christine O'Shea
Christine E O'Shea Broker - Naples, FL

Bob, great post.  We will never forget, and, it is these life defining moments that give us inspiration to be better people, live, work and love better.  I would look forward to another post on what brought about your new "endeavor".  For the most part we are led to these things.

Sep 11, 2010 08:40 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Thank you for taking the time to reflect and sharing your thoughts with us.

Sep 11, 2010 08:51 AM
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

How refreshing to read a 9/11 blog that has a positive message without any reference to how Evil Islam is. Thank You!

Sep 11, 2010 08:53 AM
Elizabeth Baklaich
Virtual Assistant to Steve Baklaich RE/MAX Realty Source MN - Saint Cloud, MN

Hi Bob, We have been doing a great deal of reflecting lately too and making changes where necessary and improving our involvement with others. It is important for all of us to remember and to go forward, thankful for the gifts we have been given and to honor the memory of those who have been lost. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, this is such a painful time for so many it is good to see others who are looking to the light and for a way to focus on what is good.

Sep 11, 2010 09:28 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

Hey Everybody,

Been away from the computer today.  Thank you for your comments and for reflecting with me on this day and what it means in our lives. 

Sep 11, 2010 09:31 AM
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Who could EVER FORGET Sept 11th!   What a sad , sad day for the USA and the world.


Sep 11, 2010 09:42 AM
Doug Dawes
KW Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I will never forget 9/11/2001. My son called me from college and asked 'What the heck is happening?" I'd hoped to never have to say to him we are under attack. Being a combat veteran my wish was always that my sons would never see the world through the eyes of war.


Sep 11, 2010 09:54 AM
Linda Scofield
Toccoa, GA

Bob - Your post is wonderful, wonderful. Reflective and inspirational. Thank you and Congrats on the feature. EXCELLENT post.

Sep 11, 2010 11:22 AM
Bob Southard
Atlas Realty Service, LLC - Kennesaw, GA
e-Pro - Cobb, Cherokee, North Fulton

Bob,  great post and thanks for the inspring thoughts. Your work with the young people at church will pay off many,many times over!  God Bless You you and your wife for the efforts.

Sep 11, 2010 11:24 AM
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX


         That was a great post! It does remind us to stop and smell the roses life is too short! I applaud the efforts with the kids! It is sad to think that some children do not have dreams!

Sep 11, 2010 12:36 PM
Ana & Melissa SW Illinois Real Estate Brokers
RE/MAX Preferred - Belleville, IL

Thanks for the post Bob.  The tragedy of 9/11 definately puts things in perspective.   What a great perspective to remember the event with the intent of creating a more harmonious and purposeful life.  The ripple effect of the tragedy touched millions and yet, the ripple effect of our own nature and choices has the possibility to touch just as many.  Happiness begets happiness and vice versa. 

What a challenge to work on how we choose to touch others... what's our personal 'ripple effect' and do we take responsibility for it?

Kudos to you for your help with distressed teens;  It seems with people of compassion around them, they too may be in a position to share their light one day.  Thanks again for the post!



Sep 11, 2010 01:04 PM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Bob, everyone who was spared that day should view the rest of their life as a gift and a higher purpose. We had a moment of silence today at BAR camp, and the speaker, a Manhattanite, said that she lives her life every day after that event, and we all knew what she meant. 

Sep 11, 2010 01:30 PM
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Bob - sometimes there is a lesson in life's saddest moments for us all .....  if we all moved one step closer to selflessness from selfishness perhaps some good could come out of this terrible event.

Sep 11, 2010 04:38 PM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Bob, 9/11 for all of us can mean it can all change in an instant and that is a very sobering thought.

Sep 11, 2010 04:53 PM