The holiday this week is Patriot Day for September 11th. Over the last few years, as I’ve observed problem over the last few years, I have wondered if I have done enough of service for my community.  I have started helping out with the local autism society and sharing our family experiences with other parents of autistic children. Sometimes it seems like a small thing, but I occasionally get comments that my information has helped.

9/11 fire truck from FDNY

When I was younger, my idea of service was to change the world, if people would just listen to my ideas and implement them. I found out that many people don’t want to change so I decided I would just work on change somehow for the local area. Eventually, after a lot of frustration, I decided that the best thing I could is work on improving myself and helping others where I can. However, I put aside the idea of reaching out and focused on myself and my family. As I get older, I find that I want a balance between improving myself and helping others. In the end, I’d like to feel that I helped things to be better during the time I have been here. With age and a bit of wisdom, I feel that I am making a positive impact where I can. Ripples spread out and who knows where they may end up?

Items found in the 9/11 WTC debris

An announcement, my son will be showing his photography at a local show, "Lights, Camera, Autism!", sponsored by the Autism Society of San Diego. If you live in San Diego, you can attend on 9/21, there is more information on the Autism Society page. If you are not local, you can view my son's photographs at our Redbubble store and purchase prints, or merchandise with his photographs printed on them. More photos will be added and we will be exploring other options for some of the other projects he works on, such as building 3-D models in a Lego CAD program.

Close up of 9/11 FDNY fire truck

Photos by John T. Harpster, from the 9/11 traveling exhibit