5.02.2011

If I'm the average... then that makes me really happy.

I'm going to start off by saying that if you don't like other people's opinions, then stop reading right now.  In regards to the death of Osama Bin Laden - Facebook friends and acquaintances, the media, and fellow commuters have all erupted with their stories and personal diatribes about their feelings around the situation.  This post is my turn to speak about the situation... not so much my personal take on what happened, but more about how my friends reacted and my sentiments around that.

I won't lie.  When I first heard the news of Bin Laden's death, it was a huge sigh of relief.  I was also torn on what to feel.  To be excited?  To be happy?  To be afraid?  There were some jokes made - they were funny.  I laughed.  I have very witty friends.  But relief was the strongest, most overwhelming feeling.  It was as if there was a missing piece of a puzzle... gnawing at America... and that piece was finally found and put into place.  I changed my Facebook profile picture to an American flag last night.  For the first time in almost ten years, it seemed as though the nation was united all together in one common sentiment.  There was pride, encouragement, and support of what had happened.  There is something that just feels good about national pride and unity... even if for a short time.  Is it a form of gloating?  Yes. 

Closure certainly feels good, yet I am not comfortable with the thought of celebrating this event.  The feelings certainly crossed my mind.  There HAS been a welling hatred for this man.  Afterall, Janet Napolitano and the complete calamity that TSA has become is a direct result of this man's masterminded plans.

This morning I was made aware that sentiments around Bin Laden's death were widely different than I had originally considered.  What I noticed was that my friends, nationwide, all shared a similar outlook as me.  Confusion.  Uncertainty.  But there was something refreshing and completely different than many of the media outlets that I was listening to for the past twelve hours.  

I was once told that we are each the average of our five closest friends.  And to pick wisely.  Since Facebook affords me the opportunity to "be close to" 200+ friends (paltry to some of you, I know) - I have a much better chance of a good average.  But today - my average shot sky high.  I am going to share with you some of the quotes and posts that my friends posted today.  The comments were just as impacting, if not more.  I felt this forum would be easier than multiple reposts directly to Facebook. 

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."   -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"There's a big difference between "justice" and "vengeance." Justice is about about making sure people get what they deserve, Vengeance is about delighting in the suffering of another person. I pray that we Americans can respond to the news about Bin Laden in a way that celebrates and honors justice, not just vengeance. "  -Mark Finney

"In front of the death of man, a Christian never rejoices but rather reflects on the grave responsibility of each one in front of God and men, and hopes and commits himself so that every moment not be an occasion for hatred to grow but for peace."  -The Vatican

The following are excellent articles and I encourage you to take the time to read them both...

This one is probably my favorite outlook on all of this.

I was listening to one radio host today and became more and more disgusted by his comments... his eagerness to see the actual photos, to play "Kill Bin Laden" with his son, the joking about what potentially transpired that night - including the speculation that one of the SEALs, possibly a brother to a NYC firemen that passed on 9/11, approached Osama Bin Laden and exclaimed "This is for my brother!" before pulling the trigger twice.  I couldn't have been more appalled by his conversation.  Shock value for entertainment?  Probably.  But its out there.  And its easily shaping the sentiments of those who can't necessarily think on their own.

I took salvation in the fact that my friends and acquaintances took a completely different stance.  And that makes me happy.  Happy to call them my friends.  Happy that I am the average of all those with whom I choose to surround myself.  Happy that my friends incite a deeper level of thought and analysis... around everything.

We're all entitled to our opinions, our reactions around this.  And if you took the time to read mine... Thanks.  I know, in God's eyes, I am no better than the folks that are out dancing in the streets, chanting, en masse, "USA USA" in front of national monuments.  But I sincerely believe that it helps to hear a variety of perspectives and to look at others' insights to help digest everything that is going on.  

I do want to add one more special request to each and every one of you that opt to subject yourselves to my ramblings (all three-ish of you)... but will put that in a different post.  Its too special to get lost in this.

If you're reading this and one of your posts is mentioned... I thank you, Friend, for your heart and your friendship.  For inspiring me to write this. 

"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice"  -Proverbs 24:17

Good words.  Admittedly, difficult to live by.

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