Osama Bin Laden was killed by the U.S. Navy Seals in Pakistan Sunday night. Many see the responses of U.S. citizens as natural.
Celebrations. Relief. Hatred fulfilled. Claims of justice.

Political concerns aside. Safety concerns aside. . .
A mixture of many responses.
Most media people I’ve heard have claimed it was justice.
Some have acknowledged their rage.
Some have called him the most hated man on the face of the earth.

Although he needed to be stopped . . .
although there may have been no other way to stop him . . .
although there may have been no other way to capture him . . .
sometimes, sadly, killing is the only option for protecting ourselves.
When animals in the wild kill for protection,
they have no negative intention accompanying their action.

But . . . we humans too often do.

Even though sometimes people aren’t satisfied until a ‘wrong-doer” is killed,
killing is never a matter of justice.
What kind of justice is it to kill someone?
What does it say about us if we call “justice”?
what is really revenge, getting someone back, getting even, avenging?
What does it say about us individually and culturally?
What does it say about our need to grow and develop ourselves into something more?
Into something more matured?
What does it say about our need to discover what justice really means?

How did you feel when you heard the news?
And what can you learn about yourself from how you felt?

© Judith Barr, 2011

One thought on “JUSTICE?

  1. Dear Judith, I like many others who wrote in to the NY Times and who wrote blogs such as rabbis, did not feel or show any joy or elation at the news. In fact, we were horrified at the celebratory nationalistic displays which felt inappropriate and even embarrassing and even inflammatory of more retaliatiory responses on the other side. But I do think that sometimes “evil” needs to be ended and if one cannot arrest someone and take him to the ICC, someone that masterminded such a horrific plot and succeeded, the consequences that happened to him are neither to be condemned nor celebrated, simply pragmatic and justified. Thanks for always offering relevant commentary on present day topics.

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