“To celebrate the killing of a life, any life, is a failure to honor life’s inherent sanctity.” ~Dr. Pamela Gerloff
You know it’s big news when the president of the United States makes a formal LIVE address at 11pm on a Sunday night.
Amazingly, after many years in hiding, Osama Bin Laden was discovered, tracked down and then killed by a team of Navy SEALS. The response has been really interesting and I can’t help but notice how excited everyone is that this guy is dead. Which is weird, right?
I mean, I’m no fan of the guy. I lived in New York City on September 11th, 2001. I couldn’t see the towers from my St. Mark’s Place apartment, but the smoke was everywhere. The feeling of heaviness and fear lingered for months after.
But something doesn’t feel right about celebrating one man’s death, despite the fact that his encouragement and capacity to incite violence inspired the deaths and suffering of so many others.
“Do we want to become a species that honors life? Do we want to become a species that embodies peace? If that is what we want, then we need to start now to examine our own hearts and actions, and begin to consciously evolve in that direction. We could start by not celebrating the killing of another.”
This quote is from an article written by Dr. Pamela Gerloff in Psychology Today, which was posted all over Facebook in response to the killing (although it did not go viral like the quote misidentified to MLK Jr.) and the article poses the question of our relative humanity.
If we rejoice in the killing of another human being, even someone as abysmal as Bin Laden, we not only trivialize life itself, but we reduce ourselves to the same level as the terrorists, murderers and “Bin Ladens” of the world.
Here’s another way of looking at this scenario:
Bin Laden was essentially a son of privilege with radical ideas and charisma. Enough charisma to charm thousands of extremists into acting on his behalf and from his word; enough to make many of the most powerful nations in the world quake in fear of what he’d convince his followers to do next.
Imagine if instead, Osama Bin Laden was a man of peace with the same amounts of charisma and charm and the same ability to convince believers to do his bidding.
Imagine if he was a man who used his enormous influence to spread love, not hatred and fear.
Imagine if Bin Laden was an artist bent on making the world we live in healthier and more ecologically sustainable through environmentally friendly actions, programs and projects.
Sometimes DOES just take one person, one very charming and powerful person, to make the entire world listen.
So the question becomes…will you be that person? Can you be that person?
Because a person with that level of skill, charisma and influence can shift the conscious evolution of our collective heart….