I admit, last night I got caught up in a momentary wave of excitement and jubilation over the killing of Osama bin Laden; but upon further contemplation, I began to see another picture. While I am glad that the worlds greatest mass-murderers in recent times is now gone, do I truly feel "happy" with his killing?
Martin Luther King Jr., aptly said "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."
And when I reflect on all the feelings I have on capital punishment, is his killing really something that I can honestly rejoice over? My common thought in a capital punishment case, is to not kill a killer, giving him/her the luxury of a single closed cell, complete with TV, radio, typewriter (in some cases, computer), books, three-square meals a day, roof overhead, and bed, without threat from outside sources until a death where one is simply, and humanely put to sleep. But rather, put them in main-stream population where they have to watch their backs every single day for the rest of their natural lives. Maybe my thought process is cruel and unusual, but I also think that death can often be "too easy", especially in extreme cases of barbarism on the part of the offender.
Do I understand and empathize with the celebrations and the jubilations? Did I not say myself "the devil has been sent back to hell"? Yes I do and yes I did.
Someone told me that I was a product of a sick and perverse society, and in my momentary glee-filled jubilation, I agree that I was acting in such a way.
As I meditated upon my actions, my thoughts, and my feelings today, I updated my Facebook page as such: "In retrospect, I feel peace is so much healthier than revenge. I feel love is so much greater than hate. I feel that we are all on various paths and at different stages on each of those paths; acceptance, embracing, forgiving, and loving will be that which will bring us all inner-happiness and inner-balance." And this truly is how I feel.
When we get caught up in a moment, and these moments do arise, these "human-based emotion" moments, we do sometimes take a step on what is solid ground, what is "grounded", and we forget that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We don't need to beat ourselves up for these feelings, or these emotions, but it is important to understand them and learn from them, especially if we are striving to live a balanced and Spirit-filled life.
Each experience we have is just that, an experience. There are no mistakes in life, just opportunities for learning. Last night, I had that opportunity. I embrace it and I learned from it.
Many years ago, when I was studying Kabbalah, I learned that each experience we encounter will create an action or a reaction on our part. When we react, it is nothing more than a giving us a mile-marker to know how far we have come, and what areas of our life we still must work on.
I am grateful for the experience, and I am grateful that I know what areas of my life I still must work on as I walk this path in this journey called "Life".
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