September 11th: Then and Now

Remembering the attacks through the eyes of an emotions expert

September 11, 2017

It was sixteen years ago on September 11th that the twin towers in New York City were destroyed by the airplanes that flew into them. It was a shock. Not since 1941, when Pearl Harbor was targeted, had America been attacked, and even then it wasn’t the mainland that was hit; now, it was the biggest city in our country – New York.

It was horrendous, and it sent two messages:

1. We were (are) vulnerable, and

2. People were prepared to sacrifice their lives in order to kill us.

Who is the “us” they want to kill? Not just our military or our police, but any American, no matter if they had a role in developing or enacting our foreign policies. We are the enemy of these anonymous people, without heretofore knowing it. These killers are not insane; they die for a cause they believe in. In other contexts, we consider people who will die for a cause to be ‘noble’ – such as our police or soldiers who are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect us.

We are not as safe as we may have thought we were. We are fodder for revenge, by people who feel it is their duty to harm Americans. When 9/11 happened, a few pundits on the far left said it was payback for our country’s past attacks on other countries. No doubt our government has acted, on occasion, in ways that much of the world has condemned; when even many Americans condemned their country’s actions. But with a free and active press, we hear and read about it and sometimes we can join the protests against our own government. We are free to that. That is our precious heritage.

Since September 11th, the Paul Ekman Group has been dedicated to working with agencies and anti-terrorism groups around the world to help prevent future catastrophic attacks. Our ultimate goal, to be a source of good in this world, has remained the same.

Dr. Paul Ekman is a well-known psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2009. He has worked with many government agencies, domestic and abroad. Dr. Ekman has compiled over 40 years of his research to create comprehensive training tools to read the hidden emotions of those around you. To learn more, please visit: www.paulekman.com.