Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a few days. I was planning to go into a long explanation, complete with wackiness and strange metaphors, of the all the foolishness that’s kept me preoccupied since Thursday, but that’s going to have to wait for another day. Quite frankly, doing my usual song and dance number today seems sort of…well, frivolous. Sure, I’m already getting a bit tired of the Osama bin Laden exposure and it’s not even been 24 hours, but still, this is fundamentally important news, for once. And that’s something I think that we get far too little of these days.
So I figure I’ve got a couple of options. I can either add my two cents on what is possibly the most important historical event of 2011 to date (sorry, Royal Wedding), or I could spit out a few hundred words on something like my surprisingly adequate grass-growing ability or how much I like beer.
I know; kind of a no brainer.
I am going to generally stay away from all the other major points and questions relating to Sunday night’s bin Laden announcement. Should we be cheering the death of another human being? Was this really justice served? Were revenge-minded Americans everywhere gypped by this whole burial-at-sea business? Obama’s re-election’s a lock in 2012 now, right? Does any of this even matter?
Well, wait a second. Actually, I’m not going to avoid that last one. Because here’s the thing: regardless of how you feel about the event, I’d wager that every American had or will have some form of non-trivial reaction to the news. Even the hipsters, who rarely allow themselves to show interest in anything but that really obscure thing you wouldn’t understand, will have a hard time maintaining their disaffection over this.
But I’m not every American and certainly not a hipster, so I can only tell you what it means to me.
I suppose, honestly, that a lot of things run through my head when I think about it. What really struck me this afternoon, though, is that there’s a very simple lesson here that can apply to just about anyone. Put simply, it’s this: keep yourself focused on the right task and don’t give up until you get what you set out for.
The United States began hunting for Osama bin Laden nearly a decade ago, but got distracted by others wars and other agendas along the way. Since then, we’ve had economic ups and downs (mostly downs), bitter bipartisan politics, near-constant paranoia (gotten a good feeling-up from TSA lately?), and what feels to me like a whole lot of wheel-spinning without much accomplishment.
For me, the key turning point in this story is that U.S. military focus recently returned to Afghanistan (and the surrounding region). Assign whatever reasons for it that you prefer, blame or lionize whomever you’d like, but with that shift in focus came a renewal on the search for the man who brought us the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As most everyone now knows, that search finally bore fruit.
To me then, the reminder is simple and something to apply to life every single day. Know your goals, stick to your guns, and avoid distraction at all cost and before long you’ll crest that personal mountaintop, whatever it represents. If you’re feeling ineffective or struggling with your own sense of accomplishment, then make sure you’re attending to the right things, the things that are truly important to you.
Is the world a better place today? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. People can and will argue both sides.
Can your world be a better place everyday? Yes, absolutely. It just takes a little focus, and a bit of optimism.
And I can’t help but think there’s probably some optimism going around.