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11 years ago today, had a profound effect on me as it did on hundreds of millions of other Americans, indeed, hundreds of millions of people around the world. I had spent decades in the furniture business in both the retail and the manufacturing sectors of the industry. The destruction of the twin towers, not only beautiful buildings but also soaring symbols of America's ingenuity, creativity, work ethic, and commercial endeavors compelled me to examine my own life and the value of that life. I came out of college as a high school social studies teacher and taught for several years until my entry into the business world. I learned that I loved to teach, and in business found that teaching was elemental to my job.
When 9/11 ripped at all of our hearts, I questioned my own value and what I contributed to society, to anyone. I couldn't identify much besides my quest to earn a good living. I decided that I wanted to return to teaching at the college level and resigned my position. I was informed that to do so at this level required my obtaining a Masters degree. I spent the next two years earning an MBA, applied for teaching positions in the local community colleges and was told that, no, I needed a PhD; too daunting. Instead, I wrote some books about the furniture industry, "Furniture Retailing 101". I can only hope that the books helped some understand the industry a little better. September 11, 2001 had a deep, abiding and overwhelming effect on who I was. I know I'm not alone in this. This cowardly, evil act changed me forever. Not nearly as much as it changed the families and friends of the almost 3,000 people that died, but I am a different human being, nonetheless. If nothing else, it put the petty annoyances, life's aggravations, and views of what is important and what is not into stark perspective.