like many of you, i heard about colonel gaddafi's death this morning. the news did not fill me with joy, just sadness. then i saw some of the pictures on the 4.30 news and i just felt sick. it's an awful end, and a terrible thing to happen. the fact that it happened to someone is who is almost universally regarded as a terrible man doesn't make it any better.
i don't feel the need to rejoice. i can't bear the thought of rejoicing over someone else's death. and i know that i personally did not have to suffer because of this man and his government. i didn't have to live under his rule, and neither myself nor my family have had to suffer the consequences of political dissension. so i understand that it's not my place to judge those libyans who are rejoicing, and feeling as if they have won their freedom today.
but i feel how i feel. and what i feel is that there is no mercy or compassion left in the world. i feel achingly sad that the images we are seeing today are the results of hatred and a desire for revenge.
this evening i attended a prayer for world peace at the main catholic church in hamilton, at the intersection of grey st & bridge st. there were 3 other members of the waikato interfaith council present, at this service organised by the catholic church. it was a welcome time of reflection for me, and i couldn't stop thinking about libya and the arab spring. the number of lives lost because of regimes trying to suppress protests. the destruction of infrastructure in libya. the violence erupting between faith communities in egypt.
it seems impossible to me that peace can grow out of all this violence. the protests that have been an expression of anger and frustration, that have tried to be peaceful but haven't managed to remain so. the violence has moved to europe, into greece, england and rome. and will possibly escalate if the occupy movement protesters are forcibly evicted by the use of state authority.
we prayed for peace, but i really am afraid that things are going to get a lot more violent. i wish it wasn't so. after all these centuries, milleniums even, on this planet and so much history to learn from, you would think that human beings could come to some kind of consensus on how to organise ourselves into a just and prosperous world.
the thing is that most of us have a vision of the kind of world we want. one where no-one goes hungry, everyone has a safe and secure home, people can earn a decent living and work in a field they find fulfilling, health care is freely available for those who need it. a world free of discrimination, where everyone person is valued and cared for. these things are not contentious. yet we can't seem to make it happen.
and so colonel gaddafi is death. a death without dignity, without justice. yes, it's the kind of death he has inflicted on others. but that doesn't make it ok. i wish i could adequately express the wrongness of it all, but i really have no more words. inna lillahe wa inna ilaihi raji'oon.