I was sitting on my couch last night watching CNN and all of a sudden, breaking news – the President is going to address the country. My first thoughts went to the unrest in Libya and thought to myself, ok – what happened now. Then came the newscasters who certainly know how to pour on the drama. Wolf Blitzer says he was told by a source that you better “go into work”, and that he had a inkling of what the address may be about, but he felt compelled not to say it because it only came from one single source. This went on for about thirty minutes or so, the newscasters repeating again and again how unprecedented this Sunday evening address to the nation was, how they had an idea of what it may be about and that it definitely was not about Libya.
So goes the theatre of the news. Then at a strategic moment before the president revealed what he had to say, the newscasters announced that Osama Bin Laden was dead. They couldn’t let the President be the first to say it, they had to trump him (no pun intended) by sharing what they new probably from the beginning of the “breaking news” segment. But the drama sure kept you tuned in until the President was ready to speak. And of course, the newscasters had to be the first to tell us.
After they announced that the President’s remarks would not be about Libya, I began to wonder what the news could be. I have to say it took me a few minutes, but I remember getting up to get a drink of water and it finally dawned on me – I bet they’ve captured Bin Laden. I never considered that he would be dead, just that we would finally have him. What goes around, comes around.
That has been my favorite saying over the years. I have seen the wisdom in this saying play out in a variety of ways and in my experience it always comes back around. I created an addendum to this saying. My version is: “what goes around, comes around – and I hope I am around when it comes back around”. This is one of those times when I was glad to be around when it came back around.
We all remember where we were on 9/11 when the World Trade Center got struck. Heck, I remember where I was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated! And both times, I remember very clearly how I felt. When Kennedy was killed I was very young and in utter disbelief. It was a sort of coming of age for me as up to that point I firmly believed that bad things did not happen to good people. On 9/11 I was working for the City of Dayton. This was the first time in my lifetime that the United States was attacked on its mainland. The false feeling of security we all felt living here died that day along with the three thousand plus lives that were lost. I remember just wanting to be with my family, to make sure they were safe. I was in shock and utter disbelief that this could happen, a very different sort of coming of age.
Osama Bin Laden was definitely the face of 9/11, but as many today are celebrating, I am left wondering whether his death will make this crazy extreme violence stop. I doubt it. We talk justice, they talk revenge and it goes on and on in a vicious cycle. So although many feel that the death of Bin Laden brings some sort of closure, I think its just another chapter in the “an eye for an eye” saga that we see playing out all over the world. And, if we keep on with this strategy, pretty soon there will be no eyes left, and that is my greatest fear of all.