“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” – Jessica Dovey
“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.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
A writer friend posted this on her Facebook page today, and I sighed with relief, because it sums up all I have wanted to say for the past couple of days, but much more eloquently.
I’m not gonna lie–sometimes this world depresses me. The value of life–be it human or animal–seems very low these days. Whether it’s baby seal pups being inhumanely clubbed to death for sport (since seal products don’t really have a market anymore), people celebrating the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, or well-loved pets being put down because they’ve become an annoyance, this has been a sad month.
I don’t agree with what Osama was apparently responsible for (I say “apparently” because he will never stand trial and be able to tell his side of the story). What happened on September 11th, 2001 was a terrible tragedy and many innocents died. I remember CNN clips of people in the Middle East celebrating the attack on the Twin Towers, causing North Americans to gasp in shock and say the celebrants must be less than human. Now Osama is killed, and we do the exact same thing? How much sense does that make? In my city, the Sun’s front page featured a photo of Osama with the headline, Burn in Hell. I’m sorry, but that just made me sad about how low we can sink as a nation. I’m with Martin Luther King Jr. on this one.
I’m finding blogging difficult these days–not because I can’t think of what to say, but for all the things I can’t say. In the beginning, I wanted this to be an anonymous place where I could be completely open and forthcoming about what’s going on around me, but I was outed fairly early. (Hard to stay anonymous when you promote your blog on Facebook.) And now that I have photos on here, the cat is definitely out of the bag. So I keep my mouth shut about the things that could effect others in my life, or that I’m not supposed to have an opinion on. As a journalist, for instance, it’s not right to tell you how I feel about my country re-electing a man who was found in contempt of parliament and who attempted to pass many scary Bills without our noticing.
I have to keep my mouth shut.
But this might be a good day to tell those you love that you love them…and that includes the animals, too. We’re all in this mess together, whether we like it or not.
Well said, Holli. I think we should be able to recognize when difficult steps are necessary, without being triumphal about the deaths or defeats of others.
Journalists are supposed to be objective and non-partisan? Wow… you wouldn’t know that from reading The Sun.
Great post. I love the MLK quote. It’s frightening to see supposedly intelligent people get caught up in the “they started it” mentality that only propagates the endless cycle of revenge. It’s tempting to think of sides in terms of good and evil, and it’s probably necessary on some level to dehumanize the other side if you want to kill them. But the binary isn’t that clearly defined. There were atrocities on both sides, and one will continue to lead to another as long as everyone involved continues to buy into the Ouroboros-like cycle of retribution.
You my friend, have a way with words. I feel so many of the same things and I’m glad when someone has the guts to speak the truth. The election results felt like a kick in the stomach, and like so many events happening around the world, while some people rejoice, others feel helpless. But when you express yourself like this, it gives me a sense that when we’ve truly had enough, things will change. Hang in there.
Well said Holli. Working for government doesn’t make it easier either. At least it is good to know that the world depresses other people too.
I’ve seen several Facebook friends post that MLK quote and it is indeed appropriate. Humans seem to be savages and idiots.
Idiots because of the outcome of last night’s election. I’ve had a very hard time keeping quietly neutral, since people are so blind to what the ruling party has done. The lack of outrage baffles me.
Chris – Don’t forget Globe and Mail to your list of seemingly non-partisan sources. I find this especially surprising considering the way the Cons have treated journalists.
Apparently, the first sentence, “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” is not from MLK. The rest of it is. Someone left off a quotation mark or two when it was copied and the first sentence belonged to another.
Thanks for your wonderful comments, everyone. They have brightened my day.
@ Graham – welcome to my blog, and thanks for commenting. I completely agree, and I love your post today, too. Monster trucks, indeed!
@ Chris – there used to be a time when revealing any political affiliation was enough to get you fired from a journalism job. Not anymore! I completely agree with your sentiments.
@ MzTree – thanks for your kind words. I am glad that my post gave you hope on such a seemingly hopeless day. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what goes on in this world, but we’re definitely not alone. There are still good people out there who will stand with us, and say–when all else fails–WTF?
@ TS — Definitely not easier. I don’t envy you today, and the frustration you must feel. You try so hard to educate people about the issues and what’s really going on. I have heard so many times today that Harper can’t be worse than anyone else, and it baffles me, too. Perhaps people are assuming that the evil they know is better than the one they don’t?
@ Cigarista — it’s already been pointed out and corrected, but thanks. I removed the quotes from the first sentence, but still feel they are worthy of repeating, no matter who said them.
I’m with you on your feelings Holli, and I’ve had a long hiatus from a couple of my more strongly opinionated blogs, while I still write on another. We are supposed to find balance and yet the world is almost militantly unbalanced and works hard to maintain that sense of unbalance.
Keep writing, keep speaking and I think your opinions matter, call a few posts ‘op ed’ and you can get away with almost anything 🙂 but don’t be silent!
Intelligent people who can use words to share thoughts and feelings need to be encouraged to keep doing just that – write! Write!
People will be what they are – good, bad and ugly. I believe very strongly that if we are silent when something is wrong it is not a silent protest but a silent assent for the wrong doing. Little things or big ones if we don’t speak up or share a quote or question a position what are we doing? Following the herd? Last I looked our eyes were in the front of our heads – humans are not herd animals! haha
Peace to you, and encouragement too! Your voice is one I listen for…
I also agree with what you are saying. I was shocked to find out that Obama was so forth right in saying they killed Obama. I personally think it was a mission to kill him even if he would have surrendered peacefully. I guess we will never really know what happened in Pakistan.
Thanks for the encouragement and kind words, MM. My hesitation in speaking out is not limited to political affairs, but to things that are going on in my life that will effect others if I write about them. I sometimes have to pick and choose what’s appropriate to blog about and what’s not. I’m honestly always surprised/flattered that anyone wants to hear what I have to say about world events. I’m just a writer and a kickboxer. But I guess I’m sometimes able to tap into what a lot of people are feeling.
Thanks for your comment, Vanessa. You’re right-we’ll never know, and the story of what happened has already changed a lot. People had their reasons to keep him from ever talking, that’s for sure.
Your words are beautiful Holli. Thank you. There is one point you made that I strongly disagree with. “I have to keep my mouth shut.” No you don’t. It doesn’t matter if you are a journalist. Everyone regardless of occupation should be allowed to be heard
What a wonderful comment, Will! Thank you and welcome to the blog. Please stop by anytime, and I promise to keep talking! 🙂
I’m glad you enjoyed the post.