U.S. should be about more than death

More than a decade after the Cole, the twin towers, the pentagon and a field in PA were hit, Osama Bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan.

Good riddance. May he find some of the peace he took from our lives in his next.

It’s odd to me. I find myself happy to rid of Osama Bin Laden, but I share little of the jubilation I see and hear about on the TV and radio. In fact, I feel a little sad to be happy about his death. Maybe it’s a sadness to see our citizens think his death is one we should cheer, one which should be greeted by the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and chanting USA at the White House.

I think my hard time reconciling the way I feel about his death stems from a deep seeded belief the U.S. should be about more than death and our ability to deliver it. The true nature of an idea should be what progress it inspires, what new comes from it. When I think of the U.S., I think of an ideal made reality. I think of all we have built, all whose lives have been improved, all the technology, all the lives saved, and all whom we have inspired to pursue liberty and freedom. These are the true ways in which I would measure us as a society, and yet I find myself cheering on the inside for the death of a man on the other side of the world because he inspired others to hurt us over a decade ago.
Had we spent half the money we spent chasing him instead on rebuilding the twin towers, we could have had a lasting marvel. Instead we have thousands dead on our side and “theirs” with billions spent, but we did get our guy. I should probably be happier. After all, as a country we paid a lot for this feeling.

I just wish I didn’t get the feeling we need parental supervision as a country. I think of what I have to tell my screaming daughter after my son nocks down her block tower, “Did you have fun building it? Have you screamed at him for longer than it would have taken you to build it again? You got out the blocks to build, so build. Your brother is too young to understand the greater challenge is in the building, not the destruction. Destruction is the easy road for those who don’t yet know how to build. Maybe in time he will learn. Maybe you could show him.” Maybe we will watch and learn.

Maybe I can feel better just knowing we might start trying to build now. The target of our wrath has left our world.  It’s time to relearn the art and joy of making.