Monday, May 2, 2011

A Tale of Perspective

It's been quite a an evening and overnight for the U.S. I don't think this will go down as one of those events in the national psyche where you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news. But the killing of Osama bin Laden will go down as a milestone, a unifying point at a time when unity is very hard to come by.

For the record, my WOW guild and I had just downed Lady Deathwhisper, one of the bosses in Icecrown Citadel. I was preparing to divvy up the loot she drops and one of the raid members said, "Bin Laden is dead. It's on the news, right now." He's not the kind of guy to make jokes about that kind of thing. People scrambled to check their preferred news source. I kept refreshing my Internet browser. Nothing. I finally typed in the call letters of one of the local TV stations and up came analysis and the announcement that the President would address the nation "soon". Wow. This is quite the story.

In my guild, probably a good third of the members are Canadian. We American members were checking our news sources while they were also checking theirs. Did you know there is an election today in Canada? It's akin to our presidential elections, where not only is the Prime Minister being voted on but also members of the House of Parliament. I knew there were elections on the horizon but I didn't know they were today. Canadian TV was discussing the elections. There was no mention of Bin Laden. You had to have cable and get CNN to verify what we were saying in guild chat.

That struck me. I am proud of my country, proud to be an American. Yet I am aware that I am but one of many on this ball spinning through space. What is important to me is not important to someone in Japan, Turkey or Canada. At a time of great pride in my country, I can drive 4 hours and be some place where the average Joe may look at me and say, "O-whatta bin Who?" Do you even know who is the current prime minister of Canada? I didn't. I had to look it up.

We should be justifiably proud of what we did in the wee hours of a Monday morning half a world away. If I ever met the members of the Navy Seal group that carried out the raid, I would thank them for a job exceptionally well done. On the world stage, however, it's just another day.

Beverage:  English Breakfast tea


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