In the Dark

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What are greatest moments? Are they the best moments in life, the ones we remember or the events we try to forget? When asked, people generally seem to say the moments they consider the best: Weddings, graduations, the birth of children and personal enlightenment. The key word here, it seems, is Greatest, and Great does not necessarily mean best, it means most important. The Greatest moments in life are just as likely to be tragedies as they are triumphs because bad moments are just as likely to influence and impact on us as enjoyable moments. So perhaps when we say what are The Greatest Moments in life, what we really mean is; what pivotal moments in life have the most effect? J. McTaggart, metaphysicist and Philosopher, once described time as an extremely turbulent Ocean of infinite width and unknown length. The present, he said, is a storm of infinite width and the length of a single moment. As the storm passes across the ocean, it freezes it at that precise instant and it becomes the past. Those of us with memory can recall the past, and it’s these reflections that we often term the Greatest Moments. People consider memories, and the memories they term Great especially, to be an important part of their identity and character. But although most people agree that they have had greatest moments, what these moments actually are is a highly subjective matter, both for individuals and societies. The terrorist attacks of September the 11th, 2001, are widely regarded as a tragedy, and a tragedy that was not only tragic in itself, but produced tragic consequences. For America, though not exclusively for America, 9/11 is considered a Great Moment, and it continues to play a part in America’s identity and its actions in the present. It was in the immediate aftermath of the attacks that the Bush administration declared a War on Terror, a war that has resulted and is still resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians and soldiers on both sides. The impact of 9/11 and...
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