Before Reproach

A young Osama Bin Laden with his family in Sweden during the 1970s. He is second from the right in a green shirt.

I found this photo online.  A picture of a venerable, respectful, content family from the 1970’s.  It is the typically found mix of introverted kids, the kids that like the attention, and the ones in between.  Some laugh and make jokes.  Some peer intently at the camera as if to send a message to the recipient of the photo.  Others shyly pretend like no photo is being taken.  They are in Sweden, grouped together endearingly.  I’m sure the parents are thrilled and proud to get this picture.  See the kids at the top?  Playful and exuberant.  They all seem well-socialized and well-mannered.  Here’s the shocker.  Osama Bin Laden is in this picture.  Where’s Waldo?

The gentle, quiet-looking boy second from the right is him.  In the green shirt.   The smile on his face is decisive and expressive.  He exudes equanimity.  I wonder what happened to him to make him so angry.  To provoke him to want to kill so many people.  It never fails to amaze me how the experiences of life have the propensity to completely alter a persons perception.  Reality is malleable and always subject to change.


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