A Personal Note On Helping, And Coping, And Fighting Back.

The following is the personal opinion of Mike Lipshultz, Editor, BizNet OnLine Magazine and Supervisor for Tri-State Search and Rescue.

In my 47 years on this earth, nothing, but nothing has hit me like this. Over 6,000 people, human beings, dead or missing.

I’m kind of one of those “Control” type personalities.  I have learned to accept that most things in my life are in fact, not subject to my control.  That said I do not like feeling helpless. As such I have learned a great many life skills.

And here I sit.  Feeling as helpless as can be.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t fix the events of September 11, 2001.  There is nothing in my arsenal of skills and abilities to make things better.

Intellectually I know all the things I need to know to deal with this and keep my life on track.  Things like:

The events of that day were beyond my control and responsibility.

I am not responsible for fixing anything.

It’s O.K. to “feel” bad about this.

And Blah, Blah, Blah…


This is not an intellectual event.  My “feelings” don’t care about what my “Intellect” knows.  So, I continue to feel alternating emotions of:

  Then I think about what the Terrorists wanted to accomplish.  What they want to see happen to this country.

Then the only thing I feel like is an American.  And if anyone thinks that they can bring this country ”down”, they need to look at history.

Japan made the mistake of “waking up a sleeping giant”, with their unprecedented attack on Pearl Harbor.

That mistake has just been made again.  The Giant has woken up, and it’s not in a good mood!

Now it’s not about how I feel, or what I need.  It’s about my country and what it needs.

I have some of the skills and training needed in an event like this.  So, why am I here in Los Angeles, and not in New York?  Because I’m not the only person with this training.  The authorities in New York know of me, and will call if I’m needed, but for now they are overloaded with “skilled” help.

Yes, I would feel better if I just went to New York.  But the truth is, I would just be part of the “one too many” dedicated folks showing up to help.  So, I’m staying in Los Angeles, and turning my frustration into other ways to help.

Other ways…. Yes…

I have worked the phones and my business connections, not only to help raise funds, but to brainstorm, to find other ways to help.

On Thursday the 13th I talked with my connections over at America’s Most Wanted.  We discussed the idea of them using their web site to help list the missing.  On Saturday the 16th, the announcement was made that in fact, America’s Most Wanted, was going to do just that.  I was not in New York, but I was helping.  I was fighting back.

And I keep finding ways to help.

This open letter, and web site, is another.  And I know it is helping.  How, do I know?  Because it has already helped me.  And I hope it will help you.

It is to help you to know that you don’t have to be in New York, or Washington, or so on, to make a difference.  Wherever you are, that is where you can help.  You can help at your local church, synagogue, school, civic organization, shelter, or any place that your participation is needed.

If you feel the need to help out with more than just money, then look around your community for places that desperately need help, your help.

So little can do and mean so much.   Let the folks around you know they are not alone.  We the citizens of the United States are here for each other.

Please, my fellow Americans, believe me when I say, you are not alone.  We are in this together.  If you can give help, give help.  If you need help, please, please, please, take our help.  By letting us help you, you in fact are helping us to help ourselves.

If you need to talk to someone or be with someone, reach out to the support centers and telephone numbers that have been set up.

I have discovered I am not helpless, and I do have control.  I have the control over how this affects me and whether or not I let this attack claim what I can or could have done.

Please don’t let this attack claim you and what you can do.  Please fight back by getting any help you need, by doing whatever you can do, no matter it be big or small.  It all adds up.

And lastly I ask everyone to support what this country stands for.

“The Land Of The Free”, “The Home Of The Brave”.  We are all Americans, even those that do not talk or dress like you or me.  And we all need to support each other.

Don’t let the terrorists win by turning us against each other.

I thank you all, and my hopes and prayer are with each and every one of you.


Mike Lipshultz


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Last modified: November 08, 2002