Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hoping the World is a Better Place for My Kids

I'm writing this before I've read any other blog posts about the killing of Osama bin Laden. I don't know what my friends and others I admire in the blogoverse have said about what happened. I have been on Facebook and do know generally what my friends there and family think and feel about it. But I want to get my thoughts and feelings out before I read other blogs, even if this is a big mismatch of ideas and rambling of thoughts, as the beginning seems to be.

I am not conflicted about what happened. I am not conflicted in my heart, soul or conscience about bin Laden getting killed. I keep searching and thinking and analyzing, but nope. I'm not in conflict. I'm not sorry. I'm not upset.

But I'm not exactly celebratory, either. I would not feel comfortable cheering in the streets over a man's death. I wouldn't open champagne or throw a party. However, I can understand that some people would.

People react to things in different ways. People have different ways of finding closure. People need different types of justice to be served. I read this article and realized that there is an evolutionary reason that people want to celebrate this form of justice.

I'm a peace-loving hippie at heart. I really do wish we could all just get along. Although I get it mentally, my heart does not understand why people would start wars. I don't have urges to be cruel to another person or animal. My biggest desire in the world is that every person be kind, respectful and accepting of everyone else.

But my ideal world, my utopia, simply can't exist--at least not in this world today or any time throughout our history. It may not ever be possible for humans to live in perfect harmony and acceptance, because of "human nature." Because how humans have survived, moved forward, evolved in this world is in large part because humans are competitive and... well... self-serving.

Unfortunately, there are some humans on this Earth whose competitive-ness is crazy high and they want to be in charge of and win EVERYTHING, whose self-serving is not balanced by altruism or desire for harmony.

Osama bin Laden was one of those people. Someone who promoted violence against others simply for being "other." Someone who somehow rationalized the killing of thousands in the name of religion and intolerance, killing "others" as well as his own people. Violence, destruction, subjugation, hate, intolerance. Those are just some of the cornerstones of what he stood for.

Imagine a movie with a character like bin Laden. From action movies to sci-fi movies, there have been plenty of characters like him. I always root for those characters to be captured and brought to trial/jail/justice. But if they get killed in the cross-fire? I'm not upset. And in some cases, even I realize that if the evil person continues to live, he/she will continue to cause death and destruction and the only way to truly resolve the movie is for the evil person to die.

I don't wish for the death of other people in real life. But there are people in the world whose death I do/will not regret. He was one of those people. I did not wish him well in this life, and I don't wish him well in the afterlife.

When I first heard reports of his death, I didn't quite know how to feel. But as I started remembering the details of 9/11, remembering what it was like to hear and watch the reports as it was happening, realizing the extent of what happened, learning the details behind the plot, learning the death toll and the aftermath, and most of all thinking about all those who lost loved ones, I realized that I wasn't upset about bin Laden getting killed. As I listened to President Obama's address, I realized that I have no problem with bin Laden's death and have no remorse over it.

And while I personally won't toast his death or cheer in the streets, I understand why others do/did.

I want the world to be a better place. I want to be able to live and raise my kids in my ideal society, my utopia where everyone is respectful and tolerant and helpful of each other. There are evil people in the world who not only keep the world from getting closer to my ideal but actively teach others to do the same.

Osama bin Laden is dead. I did not have a part in his death, but I am not at all upset that he is dead. I'm not at all conflicted. To be completely honest, I hope, even believe, that with his death the world is a slightly better.