Not Broken, Not even Beautifully

“We’ll fight, not out of spite
For someone must stand up for what’s right
‘Cause where there’s a man who has no voice
There ours shall go singing
My hands are small I know
But they’re not yours, they are my own
But they’re not yours, they are my own
I am never broken” – Jewel, Hands

This has been a particularly disturbing week for me. Guess what? It has nothing to do with adoption!

The announcement of the death of Osama Bin Laden brought out some interesting behavior in many I know and love and since much of that behavior and the associated beliefs were so contrary to my own, I felt a bit of a tremor at my foundation. I debated a bit, not heavily, but a bit. I shared my position which specifically stated I was okay with Bin Laden’s death and the way it happened but I had serious concerns about American (well some American’s response) to it. I was not out celebrating, I was not screaming USA! USA.  I was not ripping off my top and shimmying my ample bosom around. I felt no need to do any of those things and I was embarrassed to be American when I saw what some others were doing. Nietzsche came to mind “Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one” as did thoughts of the shadows sides of our personalities, the cold war, memories of that awful day of 9/11 and what happened in my home with my Swedish born au pair and my young son.  I found much, too much,  of the disturbing reaction laced with jingosim, ignorance, paranoia and xenophobia.  I felt frightened for a bit of a spell, worried how the Arab world would react and equally saddened that my children, all three of them, have to live in this world for far longer than I will.

Whilst conversing over Facebook with a friend, I was told that I was clearly “too intense and analytical and needed to relax”.  I did not take that as a compliment.  When I posted a status update about it, another friend (a mother who surrendered to the Easter House network) remarked that whomever told me I was intense should have met me a year ago. This too, I found to be less than complimentary (it was a reference to my activism and strong views on Easter House and baby brokers and adoption, which many of my EH friends took issue with).

In the end, by today, which is technically the end of my week for I am off on Friday, I feel deflated and a bit lost and questioning my own values, morals, and even my friendships.

Then Oriah posted on her Facebook. Oriah Mountain Dreamer is an author and from her own site “a story-teller, a lover of words and symbols and the stories that lift our spirits, open our hearts and offer us ways to see patterns and create meaning in our lives.” I discovered her years ago and have devoured nearly all her writings, certain ones several times over. Her post today included a video. It caught my attention earlier in the a.m. but I only just now got to watch it. I have embed it below.

It simultaneously renewed my faith a bit in fellow Americans and also validated me.  I am okay with intense or highly principled (as my darling Rich labels me).  I am good with that. I am even okay with being “the bleeding heart liberal”.  As my friend Mirah once told me in response to that statement, I would rather have a bleeding heart than none at all.

The last words in this video struck me somewhere good. Thank you Oriah.

“Remember your heart is a weapon the size of your fist. Keep fighting. Keep loving.”

[tube]DXEvH7NLCK0[/tube]

9 Thoughts.

  1. I have very liberal and conservative friends. My views usually lean towrd the liberal side. My dear sister in law put it so nicely “I can’t say I am rejoicing in the death of OBL…hate breeds hate. I believe: It is LOVE that binds the Universe. I’d like to see more of it: LOVE for your fellow travelers. I do feel a sense of RELIEF, if only, it is fleeting…that he has been removed from this world. I wish with his death it would remove the grief that came from his actions. It won’t. But it can, if you choose, serve as a catalyst in bringing peace.”

    I love our country but we do have to watch our actions and how they are portayed to the outside world. I am glad that our government gave him a burial that lies within Osama’s beliefs. How can we expect to receive any form of respect if we do not give it.

    It is nice to “see” another bleeding heart liberal. 😉

  2. I love this post – it so clearly says much of what I also have been thinking this week.

    I understand, somewhat, the relief – although I don’t think Bin Laden’s death means what many people seem to think it does – and I’m certainly not shedding any tears for the man over his death (although I will admit to looking at the footage of him on the news & wondering what someone with that sort of drive could have done to better the world under different circumstances & thinking it was a shame he became what he did). But the dancing in the streets like our team just won the Stanley Cup isn’t doing it for me.

    I think the larger problem isn’t how we feel about these things & how we view them, but that so many people have such a limited capacity for understanding grey areas. I haven’t seen a single person say that it was “wrong” to kill Bin Laden, but my Facebook feed is filled with comments about how all these people who think it was wrong should think about X, Y, or Z. And they are, of course, talking about people like you and me – who haven’t said it was wrong, who don’t think it was wrong, but just don’t think celebrating in that way is the right way to respond to it. There is no grey area – since we aren’t dancing topless in the streets we clearly think the whole thing was wrong and we’re just pissing in their Cheerios.

    Sorry, I’m rambling. This has been bothering me all week & when your post came up in my blog reader I wanted to stop by & give you a high-five. 🙂 xo

  3. I love Oriah too and felt the same way as you felt about OBL’s death. Necessary, but celebrate? I don’t think so. I will not celebrate anyone’s death. Thanks for sharing.

    Melissa

  4. I agree that how we react to these things is important. That just because those in another country celebrated 9/11 does not justify a similar celebration on our part. We should be higher and kinder than that. Thank you for driving home this point.

  5. Suz, I lost a childhood friend this week over this very Issue. I posted this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.- “I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. 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. ” on my Facebook wall. I had a few likes, and one childhood friend who brutally attacked me. He implied that I was an American who just sat back and benefitted from living in America while he and others served their country in the military. Ironic, because I served 8 years in the military and my husband is a military service member even now. He went on to call me an idiot and a traitorous B*tch. He suggested that I should go be a Muslim in the Arab culture so that I could be “raped” by their men. He suggested I was comparing Osama Bin Laden to Martin Luther King, Jr. He suggested that I was a worthless, traitorous, b*tch.

    At first, I was shocked by his posts, then deeply hurt, then angry. I reported him to the Facebook authority and blocked him. This behavior broke my heart. This person and I grew up together as children, and had just reconnected after 30 years.

    Today, I wonder what happens in a person’s life that causes them to react with so much fear and hate, when faced with the suggestion that love and peace might serve.

    • Oh, gosh, Liz, I am saddened to hear that but can totally relate. A friend of mine, that is what I consider an extremist Christian, also went a little nutso on this topic. I was so shocked as friend is normally so well, different. It was behavior I never thought I would see from this friend and now that I have it has made me question my judgement, my friendship, what else have I erroneously believed about this person?

      I cannot imagine how much that hurt you (particularly you being ex military and your hubby being current). Why can’t people have their own opinion without alienating those who are different/ Isn’t that EXACTLY what the militant Arabs do? I don’t get it. Don’t understand how some Americans cannot see that their behavior is IDENTICAL to that which they claim to despise. So hypocritical. Do as I say, not as I do? Give me a break.

  6. Another bleeding heart liberal here and I felt conflicted over bin laden’s death as well. I am shocked for Liz that her childhood friend would turn out to be so disrespectful and narrow minded – after all, it was her page and opinion. I don’t get it either. Thanks for writing about this Suz.

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