100 years ago, Ghandi made his first declaration of non violence as a viable answer as opposition to oppression in South Africa. Satyagraha as this is called, has been used successfully by Ghandi to achieve India's independence, Martin Luther King's quest for black civil rights, and Nelson Mandela's pursuit of South Africa's direction of black liberty.
9/11 will be commemorated by many Americans as a vacuum filled attack on the US. No doubt in surfing the blogosphere, you will read anything from critiques and conspiracy (should they be called that?) theorists questioning the Bush's administration's involvement (especially Cheney) and foreknowledge, to emotional commemorations of a day that burtst the average and not very worldly American. This post is neither. I am tired of violence perpetrated by all people, we have plenty to go around in this world. Fractions, sects, inter and intra-religious conflict, tribal, and countries at war. It ought not to happen in this day and age but it does. I often wonder if those who are involved in the plotting of killing, avenging, amassing of power, if that is what they thought they wanted to be when they were kids. I look at my kids and think, would I ever expect them to use guns, or to push that button that drops one of those nasty bombs and kills many people? I tell my son especially, who, as can be expected of any boy his age the world over, is interested in weapons and 'fighting the enemy' (which could be the Wraith from Stargate Atlantis to some ghost from Danny Phantom, you don't know, don't ask)..I do not want you EVER to join the military!
Awareness needs to achieve a critical masse before it can influence a people culturally and socially. It needs to start with me, and my family, and hopefully you, and then you and then your families. Anger, agression, violence and the ubiquitous 'me vs you' comes from a place of emotional imbalance, unhappiness, and most importantly, a lack of peace. The latter includes the many religious people who keep killing and perpetrating crimes in the name of their religion, and they are not solely Muslim. Read history, and other histories. The world over is filled with repeated stories that are veritable templates of when religion rules and spiritually is non existent.
You come from your 'place'..your particular baggage and previous hurts. Bag it, and throw it out. How you perceive events of the world around you depends on what you know and how you feel. Literally. I am not going to ask for a commemoration of 9/11, there are plenty forgotten souls in Africa, Asia and the Middle East who could use some commemorating. 9/11 to me was a 'welcome , join the club of terrorism'. For those experienced with it in Europe (England, Ireland,France, Germany, Spain, Turkey to name a few) it was a moment of recognition. This is what happens, now you have to counter it. The US under Bush has been supremely dumb and ignorant and naive and inexperienced. Most definitely not smart and wise and hence, now we will wonder how much more worried we need to be. The only way to counter this is Satyagraha. It is not only the act of non violence, but the emotional and spiritual space you need to enter before you can act upon it that is the key. For that, you need maturity, you need honesty, you need the desire to bring about peace and most of all, see the 'other' as your fellow human being, not as your enemy or antagonist.