Survivor Of 9/11 Terrorist Attack Discusses Life Lessons She’s Learned


Helaina Hovitz was only 12-years-old on September 11th, 2001; the day terrorists, under orders from Osama Bin Laden, flew two planes into the World Trade Center in New York City. She was a mere three blocks away when it happened. Now, she dishes out some life lessons for the world to read about and they truly are something.

As written by Helaina Hovitz for Reader’s Digest:

Knowing that for almost all bad news you see, there is good news that you don’t see.

When the news features a raging flood wreaking havoc on the city, what they don’t feature is the people who rally together as volunteers to help rescue people’s pets and raise money to feed and board them. Communities band together and volunteers fly into action because people really do care about and try to take care of each other. Here are creative ways to volunteer, if you’re so inclined.

Remembering that there are always people who are way worse off than you.

This one can be tricky—you don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of feeling even more hopeless, sad, or upset. Just know you are lucky to have basic things like a roof over your head, a friend to talk to, access to clean water. There is so much we take for granted that we can focus on being grateful for. Better yet, let this motivate you to do something to help those people, in any small way possible. There are many health benefits of gratitude.

Realizing that you can actually control a lot of what you let into your world.

You don’t have to know everything and be aware of every current event. Bottled water isn’t poisonous. All men are not cheaters. We still have not been hit with nuclear missiles. It’s OK to occasionally turn off the negative news and skip the articles your friend is always sending. When you need to, block out the mental noise: Don’t let your mind be an open door for chaotic thoughts that other people try to shove in there.

Knowing that when someone is hurtful, nasty, or rude, they are probably suffering.

People who are generally happy don’t usually say or do mean things. When you get a nasty e-mail from a coworker or someone bumps into you and curses at you in the supermarket, know that they are currently struggling with something (or many things). They may be getting pressure from someone else and dealing with a personal issue. Practice compassion, and if you’re feeling really generous, wish for them to have everything they want in life that you would want for yourself. These compassion quotes are powerful reminders to be kind to yourself and others.

Staying in the present moment. Everything is usually OK there.

If you don’t feel “OK,” chances are you’re thinking about some past event and stewing in it, or you’re fearful of some possible future event that might happen. Chances are, right now, you are at the baseline definition of OK. Use these mindfulness tricks to stay in that safe space.

Believing in something that is bigger than you, but that doesn’t control negative events.

You don’t have to be religious to have faith in something. It can be the ocean. A crystal. Morning sun on your porch. Whatever this concept of something greater is, however, it does not allow bad things to happen or cause bad things to happen. Instead, imagine it as something nurturing that is always there giving you personal strength to endure life’s challenges.

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WOW! There’s much more. I encourage you, our faithful readers, to click here to continue reading Helaina’s story and her life lessons.

Story Credit: Reader’s Digest. Photo Credit: Library of Congress

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