Your turn

Martha uses rubber gloves now to open her mail. Jeremy lost his job after working in the airline industry for 10 years. Eric went to church for the first time in ages and signed up for hospice training. Yuvette had an American flag stolen from her yard (she replaced it) and Betty decided to re-think her entire life’s priorities. Daniel rallies for peace, Judy worries about her grandchildren and Walt keeps getting nightmares.

The above are just a handful of the hundreds of Sacramento-area individuals who accepted the SN&R’s invitation (through a questionnaire in the paper) to get involved in a special issue exploring how readers have experienced the events of fall 2001.

We asked how terrorism, the war and the flailing economy were affecting people in their day-to-day lives. Were they changing their behavior? Altering plans and perceptions of the future?

The answer, based on our respondents’ writings, is that yes, much has changed in our readers’ lives in a very short time. Fear is up and confidence is down. (Just ask Martha, Jeremy, Eric, Yuvette, Betty, Daniel, Judy and Walt.)

But it was encouraging to read that, for many, something else lay beyond their increased apprehensions. Many expressed how the events of September 11 inspired them to make positive changes in their lives based on a sudden and deeper appreciation of how short and precious life can be.

Click here for a thought-provoking sampling of your neighbors’ reactions.