"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
— Martin Luther King Jr.
Like everyone else last night, I was glued to every available bit of technology in order to find out what the big announcement from the President was. However, unlike a lot of people, when I heard the news I did not clap my hands with joy, cheer loudly, or take to the streets. Nor did I make statements like "Good for him, he got what was coming to him the rotten piece of shit". Instead, I felt terribly sad. Sad for all of the lives that have been lost due to ignorance and intolerance. Sad that history has taught us nothing and we still perpetuate the cycle of hatred, and pass that legacy onto our children.
Have you ever watched children playing? It is the most amazing thing. You see, they are color blind. They know nothing of different races and religions. They are immune to the prejudices and intolerance that the adults surrounding them fill their minds and hearts with. Children see only with their heart's eyes. They will sit and play for hours with their friend, and the only time they fight is if someone throws sand in their eyes, or takes a toy. With some gentle guidance from the parents nearby, they get over their fight and are soon running hand in hand through the playground.
In the Tower of Babel story from the Bible, at one time we were all of one mind, one language. We attempted to build a tower to the heavens in order to see God. That was the beginning of our confusion; the day we lost our sight. For God dwells not beyond us, but within us. We are now jumbled and unable to listen to one another, nor are we able to share a God, a parcel of land, or space in the sandbox of life. We continue to throw sand at one another, never once seeing one another as fellow human beings, all of whom birth, live, shit, puke, cry, laugh, and die. Why did this happen? When did we stop valuing one another; stop seeing the God that lives within us all? When did it become acceptable to laugh at another human being's death?
I agree that justice needs to be dealt when someone commits the crimes Bin Laden is guilty of. But to celebrate it just gives more energy to hatred in the world; it grows bigger, and our distance between one another grows infinitely larger. Instead of cheering and celebrating the death of a misguided fool, take a moment to think about all of the lives lost because of our inability to accept one another for who we are, and embrace our differences. Think of the innocent children who are somewhere in the Middle East, or in Manhattan, or in your own backyard playing in a playground that gets blown to bits because of someone else's hatred. Is war really the answer?
Hatred is taught. If you do anything else for your children, please stop the cycle of ignorance and intolerance. Let them play in the sandbox and keep those blinders on; let them see people from the inside out, and learn about different cultures and people around them. And please, oh please, do not teach them that killing is something to be celebrated, not in the name of God, nor the name of Justice. Killing may be necessary, but it is never anything but sad.
Peace is the highest value. If the peace has been shattered how can he be content? His enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself. He doesn't wish them personal harm. Nor does he rejoice in victory.
How could he rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men? He enters a battle gravely, with sorrow and with great compassion. ~Tao Te Ching