Kim here . . .
All my life I have been doing. I grew up on a farm, where there was a lot of doing that needed to be done. I have always worked hard, and having been only marginally financially compensated for doing so, I must keep doing. Or so it seems. At 54, I feel less inclined to push myself mercilessly, which was my past secret to any degree of success I may have encountered. I no longer want to caffeinate and drive myself toward yet another accomplishment. I would rather learn how to shift to a different system, that of simply being. Of course, this is easier said than done. I have had a lot of practice at doing. Note even the language I put on this – easier said than DONE.
I woke up this morning to the news that Osama bin Laden is dead. I know I am expected to rejoice at this – get up and start singing, “Ding, dong, the witch is dead,” or something (more doing) but I have to ask, “Was it really worth the ten years of doing, not to mention the billions of dollars that flowed away from the well being of ordinary Americans?” Maybe I would feel differently, if knew personally, someone who had died in 911, but this eye-for-an-eye modality of justice seems barbaric to me. We are not living in Bible times and we are not part of a Mafia movie of revenge, although it does seem a little like we a living out some weird, collective reality TV show, what with Donald Trump setting his sights on the White House. (Can you imagine the Easter Egg Roll if he got elected? “You there, 3-year-old, with only two eggs in your basket – You’re fired!”)
The only thing I saw about the whole Osama-bin-Laden-is-dead-thing that made any sense to me at all in my exhaustive, five minute perusal of what popped up on my computer, was a comment posted by a Black woman,
“With Bin Laden dead can we get our Constitution back?”
I was grateful to see it, among the photos of grimacing, white men, driving around with an American flag atop their car, shaking their fists. And comments from the families of 911 victims expressing relief, but saying it won’t bring their loved ones back. And official statements from government officials, saying terrorism is not over and we need to remain vigilant, with the implication that we’ll need to keep spending lots of money. And people saying, “Atta boy, President Obama,” or “Let’s also commend President Bush for helping bringing Osama bin Laden to justice.”
What if, as a nation, we would quit acting like some sort of teen-age gang, and look for other ways of responding? What if we had a National Department of Peace that could begin accessing and operating out of higher levels of thought and building policies based on love rather than fear? What if we could redefine what it means to be powerful? What if we trained people to cooperate instead of to compete? What if we chose role models like the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu and the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and funded them at the same level as we fund professional athletes, movie stars and corporate executives?
What if I, in my little life, could begin to implement a life of being, rather than doing? Would it make a butterfly’s wing flap worth of difference? Maybe I’m a fool, but from what I can tell, my biggest enemy is the one who lives inside my head, pushing me to keep on doing, no matter what the cost.