I woke up today and greeted the newscasts to see if maybe last night was a dream.
Osama Bin Laden was still dead at the hands of Navy SEALs. The news stations were still playing snippets of President Barack Obama’s announcement from the White House. The Bin Laden Abbottabad compound in Pakistan had still been emptied. The talking heads were still talking about Bin Laden’s demise and legacy.
Today continued like any other day, on the surface. I had my daily exercise, my daily practices, and my daily duties. I worked on some projects and read a little bit.
But something was different, whether or not I knew it. Something had changed, even if only on a small scale…a scale so small that maybe it might be missed, if one were not looking closely.
Osama Bin Laden was gone.
Do you think I’m just repeating myself here? I’m not. I don’t just mean that his life is gone. I don’t just mean that his body is now at rest in the ocean.
Yes, of course, that happened.
But I mean there was a little less terror in the world. A little less intolerance. A little less fear-mongering and threat.
The pundits have been saying all day that the end of Osama Bin Laden is not the end of terrorism. As US citizens, we know that. As world citizens, we know that.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s true.
The brave men and women of the armed forces will still encounter the scourge of terror cells, and we will still have security alerts. The terrorists won’t put down their guns and bombs and pick up bricks and cement to build schools, hospitals, and homes for the homeless. They won’t use their incredible knack for stealth to assist law enforcement in catching criminals that are hurting children. They won’t sit down with world leaders to calmly explain a differing point of view in the search for harmony so that people can try to coexist for the few wonderful years they have on this planet.
These things probably won’t happen.
But today, as I went about whatever it is I do during the day, there was a different energy. Something had changed. The world was still the world, but maybe today it was lighter.
Do you know what I mean?
It’s okay if you don’t. I’m not sure I understand it myself. But that doesn’t matter. The point is I will hopefully wake up again tomorrow and go about my business whatever it is, but I will try to tune in again to the increased room for goodness in the world. And because of recent events, maybe I will have an easier time. Don’t misunderstand. This isn’t a blog post about death. It is an attempt to make sense of a phenomenon — an attempt to make sense of a situation as it is.
And just maybe, if fortune permits, the phenomenon of good, wherever it comes from, will become the state of the world instead of something that must constantly shove terror aside to be discovered. And perhaps next time, good will come from the spontaneous celebration of human spirit and not from news that someone who once killed, has died.