Wednesday, May 4, 2011
In the days that followed September 11th, I remember seeing a picture of Osama Bin Laden on the front page of the Daily News with a caption that read, “America’s Most Wanted.” Displaced from my apartment in Battery Park City and still reeling from the shock of watching people jump out of buildings after planes flew into them, I joined the rest of the nation and perhaps the world in hating and blaming that man for taking so much from us.
Almost ten years later, I have moved away from the reminders – literally and figuratively. I now live in Brooklyn far from Ground Zero and each year on the anniversary of that day, I try to do something that will keep me looking forward not back.
For the past two days, the news has been flooded with accounts of Bin Laden’s “final hours” and photos of all the key White House players tensely observing what is said to be live video of the raid in Pakistan.
I thought I would be happy and share in the joy that so many others were feeling as loops of people rejoicing in the streets endlessly played on all the news channels.
But, I am not.
And while I feel satisfied that the United States prevailed in an incredibly important mission, I refuse to rejoice in death as it is the purest form of hatred imaginable to me. And isn’t hatred what got us here in the first place? I want to be the country that stands taller. I want to be the nation that takes the high road and rejoices in the dedication of our government to keep us safe and not in the demise of another.
As Martin Luther King so eloquently put it:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
I’m not proposing love for Osama Bin Laden, but I am asking you to focus your energy on what you love and not what you hate. We could all use a little more love in our lives.