Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Celebration? or Delusion?

Like the rest of the world, on May 1, 2011, I witnessed the news on television that spread like wildfire about Osama bin Laden's death. And like many in the world, I sat transfixed in front of my television and computer, watching as thousands upon thousands of people descending into the streets shouting, screaming, cheering, being extremely giddy and gleeful at the news of this man's death. It was by all accounts, a celebration of this killing - a victory. Unfortunately, it equally left me with a disturbing vision, like a scene right of the movie Animal House, of how we as a people viewed celebrations and more so, what we deemed to hold as a value.

Just 48 hours before, I sat equally transfixed watching the British royal wedding, watching how millions of people lined the streets cheering, happy at this beautiful occasion. After all, marriage is beautiful thing, right? 24 hours later, even more millions of people surrounded the Vatican and more in Poland, in order to elevate a now long-dead Pope to Saintdom. Another celebration, but for a different reason, different value.

I was left contemplating as to why we as a human race who typically approaches death as somber, approached this one with strong revelry and treated it as a personal victory, rather than yet another loss of life. What is the message that is really being given here? We state that we value life as a whole, but then turn around and judge it on the basis of behaviour. Yes, Osama bin Laden was the cause of many lives lost, many lives turned upside down for those left behind, and was the prime instigator of shifting consciousnessness and awareness that we had never had prior to that September 11 day.  I witnessed like so many, that events of that morning, and watched as the shock and horror, and ultimate sorrow unfolded, and how it forever altered our view of life, people and stability as we had ever known it to be.

And yet based on that, I see life as still - life. Whether your actions are deemed destructive, or whether they are of the good and positive, it remains the fact that, life is still -- life. What is the mixed message that we as a people put out when we mourn the loss of the people who died defending the country, but we revel in the death of the enemy itself, while at the same time proclaiming loud and clear that we value and try to preserve life at all costs. Clearly, that is not the case, and clearly, the rules break when we shift our sights onto 'eye for an eye'.

I have to wonder whether we really have progressed at all in our consciousness. I also have to wonder whether we really have learned anything at all, especially within this last decade. All I know is that what I really witnessed on that May 1 evening practically brought me back to now-ancient times where people were hunted down, possibly killed and stringing them up on a pole for the whole town to view and mock. Wow, I seem to vaguely recall that near-same scenario about 2011 years ago, in the Bible.

I really don't care to see dead bodies wrapped in sheets buried at sea, pictures of blood-stained rooms, nor do I need to see a snapshot of a dead guy's face, just to prove to that big inflated human ego that an 'eye for an eye' has really been carried out. To prove something of course, so we can justify why it's okay to see this is a victory and celebrate that victory. And in that moment on May 1, we showed as a nation what we perceived our real value to be - that the 'eye for an eye' got elevated beyond the sanctity of life, no matter whose it is.  Get Freakin' Real!

And that folks is what, in my mind, makes this 'celebration' a delusion. My hope is that one day we just might all come to that awareness, and pop that balloon of delusion. Only then, can we actually have cause for a real celebration.