"I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum." ~Frances Willard
Today was filled with people discussing the death of Osama Bin Laden - many opinions, many emotions, many agendas, and many justifications of all of the above.
Some were debated with a great deal of passion, and others with a detached solemnity. There is so much hatred in the world, it scares me to think where we may be headed, or more appropriately, sliding back to. Hate, no matter what side you're on, is destructive. Hate does not lend itself to the creation of anything - solutions, art, literature, music, relationships, jobs, economic stability, successful communities or nurturing families.
I'll admit that, while I do not mourn the death of someone so filled with an illogical hatred of my way of life, I also do not celebrate - partly because I don't know what may happen next and partly because my life of the last ten years has not been consumed by the goal of capturing and killing him. I've had that luxury, and I realize that others have not.
Since September 11, 2001, my life has been focused on my son who was three months old at the time. The events of that day, for better or worse, made me realize that my best shot at making change in the world was sleeping in his crib at that moment, and I had damn well better figure out a way to BE there for him in every way a child needs. It is what gets me out of bed every morning.
For many, the capture or death of Osama Bin Laden has been the goal - it was their duty and profession - and they succeeded. I understand their single-minded focus. For the families of those that perished in any number of terrorist incidents inspired or manipulated by him - here and in so many countries abroad - I understand and have empathy for their glee over his demise and do not belittle their feelings. I would be lying if I said I know how they feel; it's impossible for me to know.
But, for the rest of us, I just don't quite get why we are on the bandwagon of hate, division, fault-finding, finger-pointing, credit-claiming and and credit-stripping. The heat of the hate burns us up and keeps us from moving forward, and keeps us divided.
We say it is payback, vengeance, retribution, and justice for those victims, but it keeps their memory stuck in the moment of death. We've kept their memory alive, but it's the memory of the day their flame was extinguished, not the memory of what lit them up daily in their life.
The words of Yoda seem fitting: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."
Fear stops us in our tracks, when the goal is to keep moving forward. If we fear, we hate. If we hate, we're suffering. If we're suffering, we aren't living. If we aren't living, we aren't honoring.
There are stars and there are wars - we live in a world with choices. Trenches are for wars, but you have to reach for the stars.
Yoda speaks to my son and he's a wise little soul, my boy. Yoda is a wise little soul too and he's speaking to us all.
Friction or momentum? What's it gonna be?