Three years after the day-light murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of Sunday Leader newspaper, “there has been virtually no investigation into this crime,'' his wife has alleged. She wants an international investigation into the murder.
The following is what I wrote three years ago, upon learning about Lasantha.
It's been a long time since I listened, really listened, to Christmas music. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I'm not Christian…
Funny how those few words, in the society I live in, carry so much baggage. Someone asked my new son's name, and said, "A good Christian name...", when I mentioned that his middle name is Xavier. In our case, it's strictly because the X makes it kind of cool and my dad, who died, liked it. But, in thinking about it, it occurred to me that I could think of it as ex-savior, and that works for me, because I chose not to be a savior. Yes, it can be a choice, and I chose not, arguably the most selfish choice one can make. (Although it helps that I knew I would fail.) I didn't want to save the world; I wanted to share my life with someone and raise children, and I am. I still sometimes struggle with the guilt, though, like when I read about people like Lasantha Wickrematunge. Let him tell you his story in his own words: And Then They Came For Me
Real heroes walk the earth every day, heroes that should leave all of us humbled and weeping with their grace, their courage and their sacrifice. He was such a one.
A savior, in the vernacular of my language, is a supreme hero, one who literally heals all wounds, literally keeps everything and everyone safe. Heroes are not good enough for human beings...we long for something even more awe-inspiring and comforting. We long to be saved. We cling, so many of us, to the dream of someone who will bring us goodness and light, who will stay close by us forever and love us, who will bring joy to the world. We are all little children in our hearts, looking for someone to soothe our hurts, to bathe us in unconditional and unfailing love.
We rarely think much about what it might be like, what it might take to BE a savior. We barely grasp, generally, what it takes and what it means to be a real hero. If we did, we might all sit and cry and cry because it is simply more than anyone can imagine to choose a role like that. It must be thrust upon the savior and that is the cruelest act of all, to demand such a thing of anyone.
Some few of us know the dream for what it is and look tenderly upon the vulnerable hearts of others that know not what they really ask as we accept that no savior is coming for us…nor would we wish for one, knowing what we ask. We may have the hearts of heroes ourselves…perhaps the first courage is the courage to refrain from seeking a savior, to go out on your own in a fickle universe and, as another hero said, be the change you want to see.