Osama and I

A man with whom we will never know what happened.

This year on September 11th 2011 it will be the tenth anniversary of a tragedy that changed the face, heart and mind of not just America but our world. It has almost been a decade in the post 9/11world and Osama Bin Laden is dead. His family will mourn, politicians will have meetings, intelligence services will debrief, armies will re-strategize – but what will the rest of us do? The survivors of terrorism, the people who mourn loved ones they have lost and citizens who live alongside drone attacks and bomb explosions? Do we rejoice on the streets or do we look back over the last ten years and try to remember a world before all of this?

Over the last nine years or so there have been so many documentaries, so many books, so many conspiracies, so many deaths, so many questions and very few answers. My heart feels heavy – because even as I write this I know somewhere young children, men and women are still being trained to become terrorists. Osama Bin Laden maybe gone but the havoc that has been reaped and sowed into our world for the last ten years is very much alive and will be until we make a collective effort to fight for a tolerant and compassionate world. Catastrophic world events will happen until and unless that does.

The streets are weeping and the wind is bleating for the souls that are not with us now. Every religion has a past of violence and lack of tolerance – every religion as I perceive them has a means to over coming that. Perhaps we will never know the truth behind these catastrophic world events. What little we can only know, we must not shy away from. We can know what is in our own hearts. It is time to take responsibility for that.

Our time in this world is so uncertain. It is time to change our dialogue. Why do we think we can’t make a difference because cynical people tell us that we’re just one fish in the sea? Why do we accept the way the world is now because the people who have given up hope say so? Why have we allowed hope to be labeled blind, naïve, blissfully ignorant and idealistic. Why have our choices always been wrong? Will you make a choice and join me today and feel for everyone?

Because I choose to mourn for the soldiers and victims and the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones to acts of terrorism around the globe. So I also choose to see the broken hearts of the women whose sons, husbands, fathers and brothers have left them for a life of terrorism.

There lies a terrorist in everyone, a father, a husband, a wife, a brother, a sister, an uncle, an aunt, a friend, and in a neighbour or a lover. That terrorist could be the man or woman who straps a bomb to their chest or the person who leads their country to wage a war that slays the innocent or the family member that terrorizes loved ones and people who justify cruelty, beatings and emotional abuse. There are many names for them; but this anguish has no one name.

It knows no minority and does not restrict its self to any cast, colour, religion or creed. Those are the differences that we have created and accepted in a bid to be alone and angry. The time is here to do something and we need to do something for our own souls and for the sake of the world.

This war… this war of terror is not just being fought by men with guns. It is being fought amongst ourselves on the streets and in our homes. Between families and friends, neighbours and lovers. It is being fought in our hearts and our minds. Its’ victims are not just on the battlefield or in the aftermath of an explosion. This is not just a war between the leaders of countries and terrorist regimes. It is our world war and whether we realise it or not every single one of us is living it every single day.

Almost a decade after 9/11 and death of Osama Bin Laden the future of our world is still being shaped. The choices we make today determine what type of earth we will leave to our children. Will we make the changes required as humans to create a compassionate world? Or are our future generations, the children of our children ordained to live in a post 9/11 World forever? The only way I know to change the world is to love my neighbour – it’s high time we started loving each other’s too.

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