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And let it begin with me

May 3, 2011

The world is a funny place.

In one small house on one big continent lives a happy family, wrestling with their kids on the livingroom floor.

In a house down the street, a family with domestic violence and a broken home.

In a neighborhood over, a rich man with a garage full of cars.

Across the ocean — famine, poverty, fear.

And across another continent: peace, affluence, and hope.

Depending on which square we live in — and what TV shows we watch — we all form a world perspective. And with that perspective, we influence the lives around us.

I choose to believe; however, that the world is innately good. That people are kind. And that an act of love can end a war. (Not to be a total hippie or anything.)

Two days ago, Osama Bin Laden was killed. His death provided closure to a haunting event and success to a decade-long search.

People filled the streets of America with cheers of excitement to celebrate the death of a man who has brought darkness to so many.

Some Facebook statuses were filled with celebration. Others, with words of peace:

“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.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Other friends sympathized with the celebratory sentiment, writing:

“Man, NY firefighters and the U.S. military had sort of a rough decade. I say we give them a couple days to high-five each other in the streets before we all start quoting Mark Twain and Martin Luther King out of context.”

And I, an idealist mama who isn’t a big political junkie, wasn’t sure what to think. Sure, I felt relief that a bad guy can’t be bad anymore. But I also felt a pause within me — mostly that we even have to deal with these sorts of things. That we can’t just all feel loved and valued. That we can’t all long to love one another.

And so, I look to my faith, one that reminds me of not just my repose — but of my responsibility:

“In the face of a man’s death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred.” – Vatican Statement on the Death of Bin Laden

At the end of the day, peace starts within each of us.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 4, 2011 7:49 am

    Well said. I was blogging about this last night too. I really appreciate that I’m reading more of this kind of reflection this morning than the “GO USA!!!” knee-jerk reactions of Sunday night/Monday morning. Now that we all have a little time and space to reflect, more measured voices are coming to the fore – and we need this.

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