Cliff Pervocracy just published an interesting post on the concept of “The Worst Thing In The World”–TWTITW–and how what you think is TWTITW is never TWTITW. And it immediately reminded of something very intensely.
One of the most vivid TWTITW experiences I have had in my life was being in downtown NYC on 9/11. And once the towers came down, I and kajillions of other people were walking away from downtown in various directions in a state of shock and feeling like TWTITW had just happened. And I remember very clearly, I went into a bank ATM lobby to get some cash, and was afraid that the whole world had ended and there was no longer any such thing as money. So the machine gave my money, and there was a woman in there who also got some money. And we both finished at roughly the same time, and I reached the door just before her, and so I walked through the door and then held open the door for her. And as she walked through, we made eye contact, and it was very vividly apparent that we were both thinking, “Hey. It may seem like the world just ended, but we just had a human interaction based on the concept of courtesy. So maybe the world hasn’t ended.”