Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Does Killing Someone Lift Your Spirit?

On yesterday's post, Duncan commented, "You must be the first American I've come across in the last 24 hours who DIDN'T rejoice at the death of bin Laden! Refreshing!"


While I am not saddened by his death, I must say I had conversations with my teenagers yesterday about how odd it felt to me that everyone was celebrating the fact that we (the U.S.) killed someone. I know I'm usually the odd-man-out and a wishful-thinker, but anger and hatred and revenge do nothing to lift my spirit.

What does lift my spirit?

The fact that my neighbor didn't simply stop and put his mower away when he finished cutting his grass Monday night. Instead, he mowed the grass in our front yard as well. He didn't need to do that. But he wanted to be kind.

What lifts your spirit?


  1. Hi,

    Hmmm, celebrations re death of OBL in US: yeah, well, better the Devil one knows than an unknown source seeking leadership of terrorist organisation! As for misguided belief the Taliban will now sit down for a Pow-wow peace deal with American generals, I'd like to inform as to how the Taliban manages to melt away unseen. They change their hats to suit environment, a local village/tribesman one minute and Taliban hard-man the next. They'll play the game and appear to dance to American peace tune, but all the while they'll collate intelligence, weedling their way into powerful positions ready to take control when US troops finally vacate Afghanistan. Ironic really, in that when Russia tried to stem the rise of Taliban/Islamic extremism in Afghanistan the CIA armed the Mujahedin to thwart Russia from crushing the very people who finally orchestrated the Twin Towers disaster!

    History is a powerful resource for ensuring military practise does not result in the same mistakes over again, but some Western leaders fail to heed the warning signs. ;)


  2. I felt the same way ... while I'm not sorry bin ladin is dead, it has troubled me that people are dancing in the streets. The same way it troubles me when we see video of people in arab streets dancing when a terrorist attack is successful.
    What lifts my spirit? Kindness, understanding, hugs from my children. :)

  3. I know what you mean about not being joyful about someone's death. My husband is in the fire department, and they recently had an incident. I won't go into all the details, but a deputy was being attacked by someone in a lot next to the fire department. The bad guy got his gun and tried to shoot him, and they kept tussling. The firefighters saw it, one of them went to his truck and pulled out his personal gun, climbed the fence, and shot the bad guy to death. Now he's a hero. I agree he is, he saved the deputy's life. But is he a hero because he killed someone? Should he have just called for other deputies to come and handle it? I don't know. It gave me a bad feeling.

  4. This is exactly what I've been trying to tell people. I think Martin Luther King, Jr said it best:

    ”I will 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.”

  5. I'm with you, Margo. I did not rejoice, I did not feel closure. The rejoicing made me feel a little sick. I do not pity him, or support his efforts to undermine the country I love. But I am one human being who does not relish the violent death of another human being.

    Thank you for speaking out.

  6. I'm in the same boat that you are. While I know it's a great relief and some sort of closure for some people, it's not an act that we should celebrate.
    That's amazing of your neighbor, though. My spirit even gets lifted when a stranger smiles. Little things; little acts of kindness is what does it for me.

  7. Becca - I liked your quote so much, I posted it to my FB page. YIKES. Not solely a MLK quote, so I was told.

    I researched it a bit. Here's a site I found:

    And here's the important part:

    Beginning with "Returning hate for hate ...," the last three sentences are in fact, a King quote from his book "Strength to Love." But the first sentence, and arguably the one most pointedly apropos to the bin Laden aftermath, is not.

    Whatever! I still love what it says. Thanks for sharing it. And thanks for stopping by! :)

  8. I get what you mean by watching the celebrations, but I'm not sure people are truly relishing in the death of a human being. To me, a human being is the holder of a conscience. A being capable of kindness and love. A being who has compassion and shows it throughout his life. I do not claim to know of Bin Laden's soul, but I do know what he's capable of. I think the country is celebrating justice, the only justice the families of the USS Cole, 9/11 and his many other victims may ever have. Not the death of a human being. Sometimes I think its beyond our comprehension that true evil really does exist, therefore, we don't always know how to treat it when its presented to us. Sometimes you can't turn the other cheek, be the bigger person, or use diplomacy to settle your differences. An eye for an eye becomes the only way. I'm sure everyone wishes it were different. As the daughter, sister, niece, cousin, and friend to so many who have served and are serving in our military, I celebrated the courage of the seal team most of all. God be with them.

    Oh, and in answer to your other question...laughing babies lifts my spirits. I love me a laughing baby. And wine. Strawberries dipped in chocolate, my dog getting freaked out by the ceiling fan, my family, and you.

  9. Helping others always lifts my spirit. :)

  10. Couldn't agree more. I'm Australian but we're an American ally. I know that many others share your discomfort about celebration of murder. I'm with Becca about Martin Luther King's wisdom in this area.

    What lifts my spirits? Kindness, connection, a yummy meal... :-)

  11. PS make sure you check out my and Rachel Morgan's power of tension blogfest! :-)

  12. Killing someone does not lift my spirit. Capturing a known terrorist who does not hesitate to kill whenever he so pleases would have been fine with me. Yes, there are other terrorists out there that can carry on for them. But I am very emotionally bonded about the events of 9/11 and the people who lost loved ones simply because he ordered it done. I shall weep no tears for Osama. I will not be dancing in the streets but I feel no discomfort from his death.

  13. There are so many sides to each story, the U.S people may be celebrating but.....
    My heart goes out to those who lost friends and family in the 911 events but do I believe that it was caused by O.B. just because the media say it was him? I'm not an American but there were South Africans who lost their lives too.
    Everyone has both good and bad in them and someone, somewhere, saw the good side of O.B. and is now mourning his death. May God show his love for them and give them the peace that we all need so badly.
    I hate any form of killing but to kill a fellow man would tear my heart apart, I don't think I would ever be able to forgive myself. Forgive, forgive, forgive, 70X7.
    I like your neighbour and please let him know that his act of kindness is known about all over the world. All my love, Geoff.