Every once in a great while, something happens that captures my undivided attention and begs me to contemplate its significance. For me, this is the simultaneous occurrence of two very different events – events that are poles apart in nature, and that have the power to attract global attention. These are, of course, the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the royal wedding. To me, when we witness such synchronicity, there is always something to learn. So here are my thoughts.
The death of Bin Laden and the joining of Prince William and Kate Middleton give the world a glimpse of the two extremes of human possibility. Why are we mesmerized by a love story and relieved and maybe even ecstatic over the demise of a notorious terrorist figure? Because "love" is our healer, our balm, our peace-bringer. It is the absolute core of who we all are, and in its presence we are whole again. Bin Laden represents the part of each of us that is abhored - the wounded, hostile, diseased piece of each of us that needs healing. Every human being holds within, both extremes of possibility, even though most of us are able to reside somewhere in the middle. The closer we move toward our "loving" nature, and the farther we move away from fear and anger, the more peace abounds. If we learn anything from the symbolism of these events, may we realize that we each have the ability to choose and develop the loving side of our nature and to put to rest its opposite. This choice lays the groundwork for the world in which we want to live.
Consider, for a moment, that any human being, under the right circumstances, could behave as Bin Laden did. For reasons we can’t be certain of, Bin Laden demonstrated the worst of what humans are capable of. I would guess that somewhere along the way, he experienced and/or witnessed the opposite of love in his life; some sort of violation, degradation or lack of acknowledgment. And I would expect that his role models were filled with fear or rage. Couldn’t this be the reality of any one of us?
Now consider that “Love”, in its many forms, such as acceptance, honor, recognition, compassion etc. is what we each need to thrive and to be a positive contributor to society. Without it, we are lost, we struggle to remain in control, and we may fall prey to imaginary fears and hostilities. And yet, in the presence of any type of love, all of these conditions can be healed and we can be set free. Imagine being in the midst of Kate and William’s celebration. Might worries, anxieties and annoyances disappear temporarily? Might the energy of this event have the capability of dissipating negativity?
So what can we learn from all this? For me, it is a reminder that my choice to treat myself and others with kindness, is well worth the effort. It is a reminder that no matter what negative traits I possess as a human being, I need and deserve to be honored and accepted in my totality. It prompts me to continue my journey toward healing the hurts inside of me, so that I can reclaim my natural state of joy and goodness. And it helps me to remember that there is no human behavior that can disconnect me from the rest of the human race. Contemplating these 2 concurrent events has been the ultimate reminder that my willingness and developing ability to hold acceptance and compassion for every human trait (negative or positive) is what I wish for us all.
I’ve chosen to start with me. I know I’m not perfect. I know there are parts of me to which I would rather not admit; parts of which I may be ashamed or parts of me, which I would like to eliminate. Day by day, I am working to embrace these parts with the acknowledgment, understanding and love they need so that ultimately, I can respond to anything or anyone from my natural state of peacefulness. I’m hoping that you will make this choice as well. This I desire for the sake of our children and grandchildren; this for the future of our glorious world.