It's a week before Christmas, and a little more than
three months after the terrorist strikes on the World
Trade Towers and the Pentagon. Those attacks have
flavored almost everything we do, personally and as
a country. The effects continue to trickle down the
food chain, people have lost family and loved ones.
Charities set up to provide help dropped the ball (or
got greedy), and most after being caught in the act are
finally doing the right thing. Then there are the folks
who lost their jobs - and that isn't just the ones in New
York. From banking to the travel industry, the impact is
felt world-wide. It isn't just here in America.
One of our Sponsors told me he had three trips abroad paid
for - and he was struggling with the decision to go. He said
he couldn't face the idea of being fishing somewhere glorious
when there was a possibility American soldiers might be coming
home in body bags. He isn't alone. Their reasons may be
different, (fear of flying during this crisis) but fly-fishing
destinations outside the U.S. tell us three-quarters of their
reservations have been canceled. So they are affected as are
their employees and communities.
It's been many years since I was in an economics class, so
don't beat me if I get the numbers wrong, but as I recall one
dollar paid in wages circulates twelve times within the community.
In reverse, twelve other people or businesses are hit by that
loss. Like the ring of the rise, it just continues outward.
Everyone has been hurt - all of us.
I truly wish the attack had not happened. But it did, and we
can't ever go back to what was before the attack. That is a
The good thing is as Americans we have taken a hard look at
who we are. Frankly, some of it is more than a little disturbing.
I'm not going to join those who will at every opportunity
blame America first. But according to a poll taken this past
week, Americans now value as the most important and respected
people in this country the military, police, fire and medical
workers. That is a huge swing back to core values of the
1950s. Away from the instant gratification and hero worship
of music, movie and sport stars. Away from the 'me first'
mind set. Churches report much larger attendance and
In some ways we got an early Christmas. Christmas is
traditionally a time of family, giving and thinking about
our fellow man. The 9/11 attack was a wake-up call. Most
of us heard it. Americans are spending more time with their
families, contributing to causes, looking inward at who they
are and what their priorities are.
As fly fisherman we may have an advantage. We know how to
work through and solve problems. We accept the responsibility
for the outcome of our fishing endeavors. We know someone
else isn't going to do whatever it is we need to do to
learn - we must do it ourselves. The results depend on
what we do. That translates into our attitude toward
everything - or should!
What is the most important thing in your life? Are you doing
everything you can to nurture and protect it? Do you have
problems that must be handled? Are you approaching those
with the same intelligence and fervor you would a problem
in fly fishing? As anglers we constantly strive to improve
our skills and knowledge. How does that convert to your
work and family life?
Unfortunately the feelings which go along with the holiday
season often fade by New Years. The face of this disaster
will be with us for a very long time. Instead of dwelling
on all the bad parts, let's try and make some real priority
decisions in our personal and family life. Get off the busy
tread mill and spend time with those we love and cherish.
Improve yourself, keep your family close, work at improving
your own community.
Stand up tall, suck in your stomach, get your chin up and
remember something the terrorists never knew or understood,
I'm free and this is America! ~ LadyFisher
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