We need bad guys. We need somewhere to focus our rage, and to divert blame away from ourselves.
This morning I woke up and turned on the news -- part of my daily ritual of making a cup of tea, checking eMails and making sure the world is still standing -- to find out that America’s number one “bad guy,” al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been found and killed.
Isn’t it strange that this very night I had a dream about my own bad guy? My own personal bin Laden. A person at whom I to this day direct rage, and who I blame for upsetting my world, albeit a while ago.
I'm not saying I'm without fault. It takes two to tango. Surely, I acted a little less than grown up and overstepped some boundaries or said mean things. But had he been just a little more professional than I (like we expect bosses and leaders to be), my life would look a lot different. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
But what if had I taken a few steps back to see the whole picture and not just the strife and disagreement between him and me? There might be a lot less collateral damage (in this case, to my career).
So yes, Osama bin Laden is dead, but the damage has been done. Damage that will take years to repair, long after his death, because our side of the problem has yet to be solved. Perhaps it’s time we take a few steps back to see what we might have done differently, instead of rejoicing and dancing on his grave.
If the rumors I hear are true, my “enemy” is now, or soon to be, in the same boat as me. On occasion I think, ‘Serves him right!’ or ‘What goes around comes around!’ but for the most part, I can relate to him now more than ever. I clearly remember saying to him in my dream last night, “If there's one thing I don't do well, it's Schadenfreude.”
“Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble.” Proverbs 24:17