Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Vote "No Thanks"

The day our world changed forever, a.k.a. 9/11, I was home with the flu.  I was miserable, I couldn't breathe and I thought it was the worst day ever.  I was in the bathroom when Hubby yelled, "Come here now!"  I thought that was an odd way to treat an ill spouse but I complied because when you've been married a long time, you learn to hear the tone over the words.  This tone I'd never heard before.

Sinking to the couch in disbelief I watched the instant replay of the plane hitting the first tower.  When Hubby finally ran for a restroom break, the 2nd plane hit.  I couldn't breathe at all...whether because I was holding my breath or the slowly dawning comprehension had taken it away.  All I knew was that life had changed.  Forever.

And for the next month, every time I closed my eyes to sleep, I'd see his him. Osama bin Laden.  That elongated face, made even longer by the moss like beard.  That cold stare which implied we were less than insects needing to be swatted.  It took months to erase that face from being the first thing my mind's eye saw when I laid down at night.

Which is why today, I have absolutely no interest in seeing "the proof".  I do not want the image of a dead bin Laden, complete with hole in his head,  to take up any space in my mine.  I finally evicted him and he's not coming back for re-runs.

Maybe it's genetic.  I've noticed that most of the comments from women concerning bin Laden's death are tinged with something akin to sadness that death was the only perceived answer, laced with a trace of unspoken fear.  Men have had no problem screaming from the rafters that they're glad the (insert impolite phrase of your choosing here) is gone and that he got what he deserved.  

Women, while admitting relief that the man is no longer on the planet, seem to back away from actually applauding his death.  It feels like a morally incorrect oxymoron to tell people not to kill...unless you're killing a killer.  Perhaps because women have always assumed the role of nurturer, we want children to understand that an "eye for an eye" may just leave both parties blind.

While we understand he's gone, there's a little voice whispering in our heads that there's always some Mr. Evil Wannabe willing to step to the front and continue the program.  And personally, I don't want my country to encourage that by "showing proof".

For once I hope America's powers that be take the high road.  They're off to a good start. The burial at sea, which honored the customs of true Muslims, set a better example than turning that death into a side show worthy of P.T. Barnum, complete with exhibiting a dead body.

We don't parade the heads of our enemies through the village on a stick any more.  Hopefully we've progressed as a society enough not to need a photo of a dead man constantly shoved in our faces to prove he's gone.  I hope cooler heads prevail by focusing on the future of mankind.  ALL mankind.

I didn't need moon dust sprinkled on my head to believe that man had walked on the moon. Neither do I want a single photo to become a new battle of "Them vs Us", destroying what progress we've made as human beings.  Sometimes it really does take a bigger man to walk away rather than take the first swing to start a new fight.

Personally, I'd be happy to close my eyes at night without having a new vision of horror taking up space in my head.  Besides, I've got better things to think dreaming how to make tomorrow a better day.


Ponita in Real Life said...

I totally agree with you about not wanting to see the 'evidence', Hope. There will be those, however, who won't believe he's gone unless they see that evidence. So I don't know how it's going to play out. I'm just glad he's gone, and afraid of who (or what) is going to step up to the plate next. There are a lot of lunatics out there, and they come in every size, shape, colour, religion and nationality. It's a scary world.

steven said...

with all due respect - i'm intrigued that you draw the line between the difference in how american men and women acknowledge bin laden's death. i'll speak for the man that i am and say that i take no pleasure in the death of any person through violence regardless of their previous history. i hope that affords you the opportunity to make an incremental adjustment to your perspective! peace. steven

hope said...

Ponita: I'm glad the President agreed that showing photos would be like taunting. Perhaps cooler heads are finally prevailing.

steven: I knew I should've added a clarifying word or two to that sentence. :) I wasn't generalizing about American men, I was sharing my personal experience about those I've heard voice an opinion. From guys I know to men interviewed "on the street", to a man they were thrilled on a level I can't embrace. Which is why I like you...we're on the same page when it come to a peaceful world. :)

Michael G-G said...

I appreciate your thoughtfulness, hope, and I think broadly speaking you are right about the gender differences.

Thank you for commenting on my blog. I always appreciate it!