It is no secret that I am a Democrat. I have voiced my political opinions pretty openly, and, well, it is public information. I often find myself in the middle of political controversies, either frustrated at someone’s comment or finding other’s arguing mine. However, in the occasions that I can have a tactful conversation with my right-wing friends, I find that we all want the same thing. We all want good schools, a healthy community, financial security, good health, clean air, peace and happiness. So why do we get so vicious with one another on how to get there?
Three days ago, I discovered through my trustee news sources, Facebook and Twitter, that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. I had almost no emotional reaction. To be completely honest, my very first thought was, “Sweet, so can we now spend more money on education and less money on war?” I am glad that I curb from announcing my first thoughts. I was not happy, nor sad. I did not feel relief or increasingly safer. I understand why so many are thrilled. Many people prefer redemption. That is fine. I’m just not really that kind of person. I am the person that thinks that world peace is actually achievable. Call me a hopeless romantic. Redemption will fade but 100 years from now, 9/11 will be a day of remembrance of the lives lost.
The words of Martin Luther King Jr, are being passed around by those with similar sentiments and they resound loudly in my heart. “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.”
I have thought about my reaction to the death of Bin Laden for awhile. I monitored the emotional reactions of Americans and of the families of the victims. I thought about the military, their families, and the sacrifices so many of them made. I watched the news reports on the potential decrease in gas prices and increase of the dollar. I thought about George W. Bush and Rudy Guiliani, wondering what they were thinking and how they were feeling. I thought about Martin Luther King, Jr. I thought about how 9/11 brought us together and has slowly ripped us apart. I thought, “Will this finally bring us peace and unity?” We have all struggled together. We have all fought together. Can we finally come together?
This is my stance. I invite you to take it with me:
I choose peace, peace in my approach and peace in my heart. I choose world peace, but more importantly, I choose American peace. I choose peace with my neighbor and with some of my closest friends. I choose peace with President Bush and President Obama. I choose peace on gas prices. I choose peace on healthy Americans. I choose peace on getting our community employed. I choose peace on educating our children. I choose peace on the war that we have waged against each other. I choose peace on how we get there.
I Choose Peace.