New perspectives, new priorities

The first days after Sept. 11 were characterized more by quiet, multifaith vigils than by organized protests aimed at the "foreigners" in our midst.

True, angry words clogged many call-in shows. But political leaders worked to stem such sentiment and head off hate crimes.

When Secretary of State Colin Powell pointed out that 37 nations had lost people in the New York attack, he made his point: This was a crime against mankind.

He also underscored America's historical role as a magnet for those with energy and enterprise.

Today's lead story highlights a somewhat new dimension of that well-established role.

For the most part, men have been the beachhead immigrants, arriving with strong backs, skills, or both to lead their families to the global epicenter of opportunity.

Now, women - some born into the most patriarchal of cultures, including some Muslim ones - find they can take the point position.

They're building on the gains of American women entrepreneurs, who've been slowly earning access to more venture capital each year.

Amid current talk - much of it justified - about "more prudent" border policies, it may be useful to bear in mind that some of the best fuel for our economic engine still flows in from abroad.

The twin towers may have been targeted as symbols, but for the thousands who toiled inside them, they were just "the office," a setting for workdays - some mundane, some momentous. The Pentagon offers a public-sector parallel.

Now it's time to start exploring the "new world order" at work. How did Sept. 11 alter the employer-worker dynamic, and for how long? How did it affect you?

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