As news of the death of Osama Bin Laden broke last evening, with that peculiar voyeuristic excitement such events take on as we sit nearly mesmerized in front of the television and listen to commentators say the same thing over and over again — Osama Bin Laden is dead, Osama Bin Laden is dead, Osama Bin Laden is dead — the reaction seemed all jubilation. I felt uneasy, I confess, but wasn’t sure if I should. I’m Canadian, after all, not a New Yorker, not an American. But this morning I began to hear others expressing similar dis-ease, in comments on Facebook, in blog posts, places like that. Here’s one piece of wisdom (“Vengeance does not equal peace”) that touched me especially, from Heather Plett, because she spoke to this situation from a place of deep learning of her own.
And then I was running some errands and caught Jian Ghomeshi’s interview with Maya Angelou on Q at CBC. And that was another gift of wisdom on this Monday, nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden, but one sentence after the other in that thoughtful, melodious voice of hers, about being human, getting the job she wanted when no one would give her the time of day because she was “Negro,” saying sorry, how we carry home with us, being a role model, and more. If you have 23 minutes or so, why not have a listen, here. Hers is such a beautiful spirit.