Meditation on the Death of Bin Laden

May 3rd, 2011

Let us mark this moment with quiet reflection.
Let us grieve the loss of life caused by Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organization.
Let us grieve the flames of fanaticism that he fanned.
Let us grieve the path that he took, when so other many paths were open to him,
Born to vast wealth and privilege, he could have been a force for great good.

Let us be thankful for the bravery of the US special forces who did what had to be done.
Bin Laden's threat to life was so great that there was no practical option but to kill him.
But let us grieve that such actions ever have to be taken,
And never take lightly the death of any human being, no matter how heinous his deeds.
Let us respect our soldiers by showing our gratitude
That they did it with minimal harm to noncombatants
And that by showing such care, put themselves at great personal risk.

Let us prayerfully remember the hundreds of thousands of lives lost
And the billions of dollars spent over the past decade
In America's reaction to the despicable acts of Osama bin Laden,
And ask ourselves if there might have been a better way
To discredit him and deny him support from his sympathizers.
Let us recognize this better way, and follow it from this moment forward.

Let us meditate on the choices before us now:
The path of prideful gloating, or the path of respectful engagement,
The path of hyper-nationalism, or the path of international cooperation.
Let us take into account how this event is seen through eyes other than our own.
Let us make this an occasion for humility
That can inspire us to use our enormous strength with the utmost care,
Standing alongside other nations and cultures to build a peaceful world.


© 2011 Jim Burklo. Reprinted with permission from his blog, Musings.

About the Author

Jim Burklo

Jim Burklo is Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. He blogs at read more…
comments powered by Disqus