Yesterday, Osama Bin Laden's death was announced, and the country seemed to erupt with a strange mix of emotions and reactions. One such reaction was a large gathering/party in Greek Town near Mizzou's Campus, where people danced, shot fireworks, guzzled beer, waved the stars and stripes, and celebrated the Freedom of Assembly... On one hand, I understand the reaction of celebrating finally having attained vengeance for an inexcusable, atrocious act ten years ago. But part of me views the celebration of murder in any form itself atrocious. The entire thing was curious and wholly fascinating; a display of nationalism, collective behavior, and free speech in a unique American way. Here are some pictures...
Today, I read one take on the news about Osama that I liked a lot, and I'd like to re-post it here...
On Bin Laden:
None among us may know the events that would lead one down a path such as his: one of confusion, suffering, and hate; one with such a desire to harm; one who is so lost; one in which he remembered nothing of joy or any real happiness. So, let us be careful not to judge what we do not understand, but rather have appreciation that our paths are more joyous than his was.
I will not hate, for then I would choose the path he walked, where the hater also becomes the hated, but that is not Who We Really Are. We are truly Love, though most of us forget, as we are taught by others who have forgotten long ago.
I love him as he truly is(as I do all people) but not the things his ego led him to do, for we all do such things on different levels on different scales. No one who lives in joy harms another, and the greater one's suffering, the greater harm they may cause.
So, today I rejoice for my brother, that his suffering has ended, and he can remember again who he was before he came.
-Woodrow Petrović (from Coalition of the Dreaming group)