Monday, May 2, 2011

"Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that"

Yesterday, Osama Bin Laden, one of the worst enemies of America was killed in an attack on his compound in Pakistan. Many Americans spent the night cheering and celebrating. They were exhilarated by his death, and felt justice had finally been served for his orchestration of the 9/11 attacks. But I must pause. I don't feel the joy that my countrymen feel at his demise. It doesn't bring me happiness or a sense of vindication. Yes,  now he can no longer orchestrate massive terrorist attacks. Yes, he was a horrible man. Yes, it is his fault that many thousands of Americans and other civilians around the world have been horribly murdered. But does his death rebuild the towers? Does his death bring back the mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters that have died at his command? Does his death erase that grief? Does his death undo the damage he caused? It doesn't.

And maybe as an American, I shouldn't care how his family and friends should feel, shouldn't concern myself with their grief. After all, he was a "Bad Guy." And we all know that nobody loves Bad Guys. I understand the necessity of his capture and/or death. We couldn't let him continue to live (somewhat) freely because it was a constant sign of victory for terrorists everywhere--American forces could not locate or capture our greatest enemy. But it brings me sadness. The necessity of his death doesn't make it any less saddening.

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.

1 comment:

  1. As my mom says, even murderers on death row have moms out there who love them.

    Also, thanks for posting that MLK quote. My friend did on her fbook wall and it's really helped to put this whole thing in perspective.