addition and tolerance

May 03, 2011 Candace Morris 0 Comments



I came home from work yesterday fully intending to quickly change my clothes and head out for a jaunty exercisey-walk around Greenlake, but instead I stayed home and played with my new toys.  I am taking on my first wedding, and though it will remain a humble "indie" operation, I am really happy to have a new flash and a beautiful new light diffuser.  It's amazing the difference it makes for those important portrait shots!  

It completely lifted my spirits, as I tell you - I had been feeling a bit discouraged all day about the US reaction to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  I thought I would be able to have my own reaction, but in the end I only felt odd that I wasn't happy for the death of another. Facebook seriously disgusted me yesterday (as it usually does, why do I even bother?)...not in that people were celebrating justice, but that they use the internet to refrain from censoring their insensitivities.  I was going to post something somewhat contrary such as, "Does it make me unpatriotic that I am not celebrating the brutal murder of another human being?" but decided Facebook, like usual, isn't the place to post such rants if I don't want to be hit with a deluge of misunderstanding. The truth is, I cannot stomach death in any capacity and do not feel that anyone, no matter their life, deserves to have people dancing on their grave.  So let me explain myself on my blog...and it's is MY blog, so I'll rant if I want to.

I am relieved that in the closure of hunting Osama Bin Laden we as Americans have accomplished a mission to restore balance in justice, to alleviate the planet from a reign of terror, to bring peace to those who have suffered beyond my ability to comprehend, to put some closure on horror.  However, I cannot feel that chanting "USA" right after we put a bullet in someone's brain in cold blood is the most appropriate reaction.  Despite Bin Laden being a despot, he has friends and family that love him and do not celebrate his death. Would I stand up in that families' living room and chant?  I doubt should I do it at all?  I don't think's not for me; it's not my style. You can tell me over and over that he deserved it, but in the end - no ONE man is responsible for the brutalization of hundreds of thousands of people; just as Hitler wasn't the only one at fault for 6 million deaths.  And his dying doesn't change any of his earthly actions.  What will blood-thirsty revenge accomplish?  In fact, what DID this death accomplish?  Who am I to decide who deserves to live or die?  Who am I to throw a kegger when a man's sacred breath leaves his lungs?  

All humans, all life is sacred and  deserves respect.  

Maybe it should it be more like the disciplining of a child?  The parent knows he must perform this consequence and yet simultaneously, his heart is breaking to hurt something he loves.  Should we love all humans unconditionally?  I don't know - but truly, I do want to.

This doesn't mean I don't think he should have been killed, it's really not my place to say either way.  This rant isn't about me saying people shouldn't celebrate Bin Laden's death, not at all.  But I don't think I could really be happy about it AND I sure as hell cannot stomach other's bullying me into celebrating it.  Celebrate it! I genuinely don't care...but show some respect, please.  This rant is about the inability to understand, be open to,  and to respect another person's opinion.

I am also aware of my temperament and personality, which really doesn't get fired up about justice or black/white.  To me, the world is one gray area of philosophic endeavor; politics and war simply disinterest me in that regard.  In addition, my temperament cannot stomach intolerance and the moment an issue removes me from considering the person my stance affects, I feel we've lost the game before it's even began.  People get SO fired up about political and religious issues, it can make for a messy, one-sided, inability to see the person standing right in front of me, which is more important and more sacred than any "issue" I might be debating.

This is my opinion.  I do not expect it to be shared, but I do expect it to be thoughtfully and respectfully engaged.  It's the same respect I showed many other opinions yesterday.  The only thing I cannot stomach in all of this is when passion for an issue precludes any ability to accept that others feel differently.  Feel what you need to feel, rejoice or don't rejoice...but the intolerance of allowing people the same courtesy, of demanding that they react just as I do or believe exactly as I do is what creates terrorists in the first place.

p.s. I am closing the comments on this post not because I don't want to hear your thoughts, but because I don't think a public debate on the internet is really that helpful or kind. If you want to engage me on this topic, please email (button on right sidebar).

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