There is so much to say about the Boston Marathon. The world is both infuriated and heartbroken by such senseless acts of violence. These things become politicized. Politicians and interest groups use them to support their cause. Beneath all that though are humans. Yes, there are larger issues related to such occurrences and we can not overlook them. We divide ourselves because of religion or race or ethnicity or political views, but in the end we share a human experience. We all mourn terrorist acts that kill and injure so many people.
In the video below John Greene speaks to this. The video isn't about politics or any agenda. It's about people. About our shared humanity and what it means to be an American.
In Mr. Greene's face, voice and body language I see the variety of emotions we all feel - anger, sadness, and frustration. I see him reminding himself and all of us that even when violence like this that we can not begin to wrap our minds around happens, good continues in the world.
He reminds us of Fred Rogers' advice to "Look for the helpers. There are always helpers". I won't post it here because it's difficult to watch, but if you have not seen a video of the blast and the moments following it, you can watch one here. It is evidence of the truth of Fred Rogers’ statement. The video shows the many people that rushed toward the site of the blast to help the injured. There are always helpers.
We can't make light of such events. There is nothing more serious or horrifying. These occurrences bring to light a variety of issues we must examine and deal with. They can make us cynical and kill our spirits. Or they can inspire us to seek out and focus on good in the world. We need to deal with the tragedy and educate ourselves on the issues surrounding it so we have informed opinions. But we must look for the helpers as well. For each one of these people who commit such evil acts there are millions of people who would do exactly what the Boston Marathon spectators did; millions of people who would rush to help the injured. Good and kindness persist and are abundant even in the midst of evil acts like the Boston Marathon bombing. Let’s keep our eyes on that as we deal with the aftermath.
There are two videos going around the internet showing attendees of two different Boston sporting events doing just that. A little background on the first one. Years ago the Boston Red Sox adopted "Sweet Caroline" as their anthem. It is always sung in the middle of the eighth inning. They cancelled Friday's game but played on Saturday to a sold-out crowd. Neil Diamond decided to fly to Boston for that game and when he arrived he called team officials and asked if he could sing it for this game. Of course they said he could.
The second is at a Boston Bruins hockey game two days after the bombing.
This is what we do. We don't let the horrific attacks of a few kill our spirit. We don't become weaker. We pull together. We lean on each other. We proclaim to the world that we are the UNITED States of America and our lives will go on. We don't stop playing and celebrating because of their acts. We mourn together and keep going - learning, healing, and working through the aftermath together.