As we all know, two bombs went off yesterday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Today, the day after, there are 3 people who lost their lives, and 170 injured. One of the casualties was an eight year old boy who was waiting to greet his father at the finish line. We don’t have exact reports on the injuries yet, but we know that “several people lost limbs”. We also know that no matter who is responsible, and no matter their reasoning, this was a senseless act of violence. These acts of violence are a part of our reality though, and so we must be prepared each day to meet tragedy. There has always been tragedy in the world, and it may be that there always will be. So personally, I can only hope to respond in an appropriate way.
As with many people, my first impulse when something like this happens, is usually anger. I always tell people “Your feelings are your feelings, and there is nothing wrong with them.” As a matter of fact, my studies show that our feelings are typically 100% spot on. When we see a senseless act of violence and terror, what else would we feel other than terror and anger? These emotions fit the bill. The question is though; “What are you going to do about it?” What matters is what we do with our emotions and how we process them. Many people view anger is a “bad” emotion, but I am here to tell you that our anger is our greatest asset. As a matter of fact, most “good” organizations in the world were started by someone who was angry, but used their anger to propel them in a positive direction. A positive, helpful response to a negative and hurtful situation. If you are angry, you should be angry. The catch is that you can sit around and vent on Facebook, you can walk around with a superior air and talk like a big shot, or you can use your anger to actually do something helpful.
I watched today a video shot by a Boston Globe reporter who was right there on the scene. I was in total awe at the police officers and other people who responded, even before the explosion was over. There were people finishing the race, people in the stands who were exiting as quickly as possible(very understandably) and then there were those who ran directly towards the carnage. They were throwing off debris, clearing out the fence, and people were helping the victims immediately. Wow. I couldn’t help but remember the men on 9-11, who ran into the World Trade Center to save people, and never came out alive. In the face of the gravest danger, the gravest tragedy, these guys and ladies go in to help. Today at the marathon, these people rushed to the victims, and all I could think was “What if there’s another bomb?” “How do you know there isn’t another bomb?” Had there been more, then they would have died assisting the wounded.
I bow to all first responders, police officers, firemen, paramedics, you are amazing. Today I vow to pick somebody up when they are down. I vow to try and make today better for everyone I meet. I pray for the victims of this tragedy and their families, and I know that they are surrounded with love and people who will comfort them and help them through this time. I believe in the human SPIRIT and I believe that next year there will be many people who show up to run in the Boston Marathon.