Speaking of NYC. I was chatting with a friend from NY yesterday and he asked me about my take on the Bin Laden thing. I haven’t processed it much yet, so my response was short “I’m happy he was caught, but something about rejoicing about death rubs me the wrong way.”
Well you should have read his response, which I am not posting here because he has asked me before to not include him in my blog. But let’s just say, it was fueled with strong emotions, which to some extent I not only understand, but also share.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, my first reaction when I heard this was “Couldn’t this happen to Fidel and Chávez too? Wouldn’t we all be better off?” But the truth is we wouldn’t.
The thing is, this whole war is based on an eye-for-an-eye approach, and we are old enough to know (some from personal experiences) that revenge never leads to anything good. Right now people are happy because the families of the victims got closure. I’m all for closure, believe me. They are happy because justice was served. No one loves justice more than me. But is anything really over now? No. Are we safer now? Absolutely not. Is killing others and going to war ever worth it? Not in my opinion, and I”ll tell you why.
The thing with wars based on revenge, as most of them are, is they can be never-ending. The eye-for-an-eye approach is like a never-ending tennis game, in which you are not counting points. You get your chance to hit the ball, and then it’s the other person’s turn. The ball always comes back to you. You can never hit it hard enough for the other person to not be able to retaliate. There is always another ball if the first one gets lost. It can go on forever. No one ever wins. Unless, of course, you annihilate the entire race/faith/population.
The question for me is, now that we have their eye, who is next? Because anyone who thinks they will not strike back, is being not only naive, but irresponsible. It’s their turn to hit the ball. There will be another eye coming down, that we know, what we don’t know is whose is it going to be and when. Will it be my eye tomorrow? Will it be your eye in three months? Or will it be your child’s eye in 5 years? Just think about that one for a second, and then you tell me how happy you really are about the Bin Laden situation.
I understand the pain. I understand the hurt. I even understand the hate one can feel for others once one has been hurt so badly, especially the hate toward those who did the hurting. I get it. I hate Chávez for all he has done to my country, more than words can explain. But I also know, the only way to actually win is to forgive and walk away. If we keep needing to see the other’s eye, we will be in this war forever.
Celia Cruz says in one of her songs “perdonar es recordar sin dolor” (to forgive is to remember without pain). I believe that this is what we need to do, not to forget, but forgive, be able to remember without the pain, the grief, the hurt, the anger, the hate, the rage, or the sense of needing revenge. Is it easy to do? Hell no. But we can try. If it’s not for the sake of the other, at least think of your children. I would like for them to actually be able to keep their eyes, wouldn’t you?