Monday, May 2, 2011

No Dancing... Just Limbo

It will never be easy for me to endorse tit-for-tat behavior.

Yes, the person whom we believe to be responsible for the worst crime against innocent lives in American history has finally met his end at our hands. But is this justice? Possibly. Should there be mass dancing in the streets, sighs of relief, smugness, and rejoicing? Not in my mind.

I watched in disgust and disbelief as media broadcasted clips of Middle Eastern people dancing in the streets after 9/11. Amazed and disappointed in the apparent soullessness of anyone celebrating such horrific devastation, that level of evil still remains beyond my purview, comprehension and ability to process.

Even though I was barely ten blocks away as the second tower fell, I saw more good and fellowship among people that day than I did the evil that perpetrated it. A decade later, the unbearable grief, fear and shock have yet to thoroughly fade. To think anyone could ever find it a reason for joyousness in those events just doesn't compute; it hurts too much.

Theories that contradict what we have been told about 9/11 abound. Working the newsdesk at the time, I've certainly heard some wild scenarios. But enough information has come my way to keep me from believing that Bin Laden was the sole mastermind behind the horrors and that his death is a reason to celebrate. I have rarely seen great rewards or benefits in retaliation, unless it's part of a scripted storyline. In real life, more often than not it is immature grandstanding.

We recently had someone in our lives who was intentionally making our lives miserable. We had been kind to her for as long as we'd known her and paid most of her living expenses  for over a decade. When the economy changed our personal situation and we needed to alter that arrangement, she made things as difficult for us as she possibly could. Numerous trips to court ensued and in the midst of dealing with legalities, she died of Stage Four lung cancer. As much as we preferred she would disappear while experiencing the immensely stressful ordeal, we still mourned her death. We never wished her dead; it was a matter of "you don’t have to go home but you can't stay here."

I love America and the premises upon which it was founded. As with anything, improvement is needed. We have lost our way and focus on so many issues. We are not omnipotent, nor are we blameless for our own crimes against humanity, even if it is more intentional ignorance/avoidance (e.g., genocide in Darfur) than aggressive violence. America is not always justified in our actions, can be more selective with our involvement (such as "defending" oil-laden countries versus inserting ourselves in the issues of the more impoverished), nor are we always the good guys. We need to remember that many issues in which we intercede, we believe ourselves justified and righteous … but then so do our foes.