It’s not what it once was.
Nothing ever is.

I think back to the tragedy that caught the Nation’s attention 17 years ago, and the way everything stood still, collectively suspended, in awe. Together, in awe.

Maybe the last time we stood collectively about anything.
Neighbors that hadn’t spoken in years, sharing tears.
Family who’d procrastinated making phone calls, chatted all night.
Games stopped.
Drama stopped.
Walmart probably didn’t close.

Schools stopped teaching (or testing).
Children didn’t stop learning, though.
I was a child in 2001—a 5th grader.
I learned a great many things that day. There’s a lot I still have not learned.

Are we wiser than our former selves?
Who was the enemy?
That fear, for months following, made every other small issue disappear.
How could anyone do this to innocent people?
We are innocent people, but we are not AN innocent people.
What will it take to unite us again? 

Many of our enemies are faceless, big and small. A great many heroes emerged that day and for years after, many of whom are also faceless.

To the faceless, uncommon humans, the hero sort,

Thank you for your courage. Thank you for freedom.

To anybody living courageously in the name of something truly just, at any time, thank you.


Every once in a short while, my ideas just won’t come out in full sentences and proper grammar. When that happens, I tend to write a poem instead.

Click here to see Jakob’s COLLECTION OF POEMS

About the Author Jakob Gollon

I have re-written this section countless times. This is the crisis of our generation, defining one's self in an 'about me' box knowing that 95% of our peers will log that as 'who we are' without ever speaking to us, because reading the long-version is just too cumbersome for our over-crowded, busy lives. // In short: I'm a polymath with a hyperactive mind, curious about and fascinated by the complexities of, basically, everything. I'm firmly committed to living a life of "areté"—omnipresent excellence, and my mottos are 'making the best of this life' (Mt. Botl), and "Do it now or forever wish you had". // I had a 'famed' basketball stint (captaining the 2014 Mercer team that upset Duke in NCAA Tourney + winning a Nat'l Title as a coach). I quit the sports industry all-together, cold turkey, soon after. I had an existential crisis with 'glory' and 'meaning' and other challenging thoughts revolving around how many hours (90+/week) I was spending trying to 'win games'. // Since 2017, I've been in pursuit of several entrepreneurial ideas and am educating myself on a few new areas of focus. The following is a condensed list of the countless curiosities and industries that I've explored, worked in, or studied the last 3 years (of which I will need to choose 1-3 of to focus on sooner than later). Writing, Podcasting, Teaching—Adjunct College Professor, Public Speaking + Workshops, Building & Construction, Sustainable Real Estate Development—Industrial + Urban Repurposing in particular, Negotiation, Marketing—Branding/design/communications, Woodwork, Gardening, Permaculture-based farming and homesteading, Psychology, Industrial Engineering—Process Improvement + UX consulting, Project Management, Renewable Energy, & Executive Coaching for (select) clients focusing on leadership, personal brand + career development, health habits, productivity, networking, and communication skills. Yes, all of it, and since I sleep minimally, and my mind races like an ostrich all day and night, I know a fair bit about each of those topics. I have an obsession with learning. I'm always looking to connect and have conversations with folks, so, hit me up. I hope my work brings you joy, value, a challenge, or a ripe perspective. Much love, Jakob

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