In light of recent news, I felt it necessary to deviate from tennis and discuss a topic that, as Jimmy Greenfield put it in an e-mail to all ChicagoNow authors, transcends all topics in the world today.
I am no political insider: I am not able to predict what Osama Bin Laden's death will mean for the future of al-Queda, terrorism, the Middle East or the world in general.
I am not from New York City: I don't know first hand the very real death and destruction Bin Laden, the late-leader of the most nefarious of terror organizations, caused.
I am not a soldier: I'll never feel the fear or adrenaline one feels while fighting for my country in battle.
In fact, there are a lot of things that I am not in relation to Osama Bin Laden, terrorism and the state of the Middle East.
Today, however, there is one thing that I am, one thing I never would have expected of myself upon hearing of Bin Laden's death.
It's sadness. I am sad. Let me explain.
On September 11th, 2001 when Osama Bin Laden unleashed his attack on our country, I was 14 years old and hardly capable of stepping back from the situation to think about what had happened. What I wanted, as probably most United States citizens did, was cold-blooded revenge. As far as I was concerned, whoever was responsible deserved nothing less than what befell Bin Laden this past week.
Ten years later, while I sat on my couch surfing Facebook, I discovered that the CIA had finally exacted the revenge I had wanted for so long. Last night as I poured over the United States news coverage, the Al-Jazeera English online coverage, the tweets, the blogs, the Facebook statuses, I felt a growing sense of pride, of relief and of satisfaction.
This morning, however, I felt differently. I was able to step back, unlike I could ten years ago, and really analyze the situation.
To me, for as appropriate and justified Bin Laden's death probably is, it is unequivocally, unmistakably, inarguably sad that death is acceptable.
That's a concept I will never grasp.
I completely understand why our country marked Bin Laden as public enemy No. 1. Like I wrote before, for the last decade I was behind finding and stopping the man behind so many terrible acts.
I also can't describe how badly I feel for those families who lost loved ones on September 11th or in battle over-seas. I felt, and still feel, that they deserved some sort of right to the wrong that Bin Laden caused their lives.
But what I am talking about is the state of the world. How after centuries of our progression into a more civilized planet, the act of killing someone is still necessary.
I hated Osama Bin Laden for who he was, what he did, what he preached, what he advocated and what he represented.
But what I hate more is when people turn to killing someone in order to solve conflict. I hate death.
What terrorizes me is that I'll never see the day when we as human beings are rid of unnecessary death. World peace seems to be an inscrutable and unattainable fantasy.
The tragedy (or irony) is that for as much as I hate death, for as much as the act of taking someone's life disgusts me, I am still glad, just like most Americans, that Osama Bin Laden is dead.
And that's a sickening feeling. To me, regardless of who he was, it's still death. And death is always sad.