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Perception, Fear and Innocence Lost

December 27, 2001

Re "9/11: 'Treat Each Day Lovingly, Carefully,' " letter, Dec. 21: Don Stanley writes, " 'Things' have not changed" since Sept. 11. Since I have said that "things will never be the same," I feel I should respond. While I understand what he is saying, I would reply that our lives are based on perception, and that when our perceptions change, so, in effect, do our lives. To live in fear is to live in fear; it becomes the new reality. It doesn't matter that the danger has always existed; the fear did not, but now it does. And, for many people, that has changed everything. Perhaps not forever, but for the foreseeable future.

When I was raising my son, I mourned the fact that he was not growing up in the kind of innocent world that I did, where kids could go off to the beach or a movie on the bus unsupervised, walk home alone from school without worry, play outside until well after dark--the kinds of things that we could do as kids back in the '50s. Well, chances are, living in the '50s was no safer than in the '80s, or now. We just thought it was. But, believing made all the difference. So long as we live in fear, things never will be the same.

Donna Chaffee

Los Angeles

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The world seems to be in the throes of terrorism and territorial wars. Peace seems to be far from realization. During the holidays and new year, stop taking sides for or against battling nations. All borders are imaginary. Remember, everyone is part of one humanity. How wonderful it would be if everyone in the world could be as blessed as Americans. Peace on Earth and goodwill to all.

Ron Lowe

Nevada City, Calif.

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