Monday, May 2, 2011

Where Were You When...?

Our president announced last night that Usama (Osama) bin Laden was recently killed by a team of Navy SEALS. It's bringing mixed reaction to Americans. Most, of course, feel that justice has been served, and most feel happy for the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. There is celebration in cities around the country, including New York and Washington, D.C. These celebrations are also met with a lot of anger from fellow Americans who feel that it's wrong to celebrate anyone's death, even an enemy's. Still others are making the entire thing political, trying to say President Obama had nothing to do with it or simply had bin Laden killed to improve his ratings. A lot of it is silliness.

I feel conflicted about the death of bin Laden, as I'm sure most do. There is a sense of relief, for sure. And, although bin Laden was not the only person to declare a war using terrorism against us, I believe that he was the mastermind and the money behind the operations against us. Do I feel like we're out of danger? No, but I still feel a sense of relief.

The truth is, I think most people around the world have the ability to love and forgive. I think most people don't want war and don't want people to be killed. I think most people want compromise on all pressing issues, including those in the Middle East and the Holy Land. I think polarized, angry people are more rare than we think. They're just louder and more violent than the rest of us.

When there is a leader (on any side) who is unwilling to compromise and talk, it holds back peace for everyone. I suppose it is because of this that I do feel a small sense of happiness for what happened. I am not happy that a person died, but I am hopeful for what it can mean. Part of me (a foolish part, perhaps?) hopes that this might open talks amongst people who are willing to discuss options and genuinely consider compromises. Should we consider moving out of the Middle East? I think we should at least consider it. Should Palestinians and Israelis open discusses for compromise? I think yes. And I definitely think people on all sides should practice non-violence. Non-violence is difficult because it doesn't draw attention immediately as violent acts do. Non-violent protesters change the world, though, and they make an impact on history. It's a much more difficult route for us as passionate human beings, but I think we can learn from past leaders like Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Time will tell.


Samantha said...

I must confess. I was asleep. My mom texted me and I didn't see it until I woke up with Jack for the first time. I agree with much of your sentiments today...we shall see what happens!

whirledpeas1129 said...

Were you in disbelief when you read the text?

I was online reading joke sites, actually. People were updating FB with weird, cryptic statuses I didn't understand (one said, "Ding-dong, the Wicked Witch is Dead"). A little bit later, I went on Google News and was shocked at the headline. Then I saw Obama was going to give a speech at 8:30MST, and I was sad to see it was 9pm. Turns out, the speech started an hour late, so I was able to catch it.