Monday, May 2, 2011

Any man’s death diminishes me.

At this particular moment in time, as we digest the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, Dear Gentle Reader(s), we might take a cue from President Obama as to the appropriate behavior for us all. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, “Inside the White House, aides said Obama's mood was not celebratory when told of Bin Laden's death, but rather was ‘sober and serious.’"

On the surface, the cheering crowds in New York City and outside the White House had just cause for celebration. Mr. Bin Laden certainly was cold-blooded and cruel in his capacity as the leader of al Qaeda, and he well deserved the ultimate punishment at the hands of American servicemen and in the name of the American people.

Regardless, Mr. Obama’s sobriety and seriousness are the appropriate tones for the occasion.  As John Donne wrote in Meditation XVII, “…any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind…”

Especially in circumstances such as this, we are diminished. The act of killing another human being surely stems from a failure of some sort on the part of us humans.

Somewhere in the rearing of a child who grows to become a murderer there was a lesson untaught, a lesson unlearned. Most people are not murderers—lessons taught, lessons learned. These lessons are part of every social contract.

Until we have discovered the key to unlocking the secrets of whatever causes motivations to kill, our sense of satisfaction at the time of exaction of justice ought to be tempered with, at least, a soupcon of sobriety.

Trust, but verify.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment

The courage of your conviction virtually demands your name, if we don't know you.