It’s been a devastating, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, at times inspiring, unbelievable day.
We all feel exhausted. Back here in California, I feel powerless, disconnected, ill, even guilty. Guilty because I feel disconnected. Guilty because I can’t even pretend to imagine what our brothers and sisters in Boston are going through right now. I spent the day simply wading through the facts and rumors online, sharing any information that seemed helpful, and reassuring friends who mistakenly thought I was out there today, too.
Now, as I read through tumblr’s reactions to the event, I sense the widespread frustration of a thousand minds trying to process a random act of violence. We are searching for an explanation to the carnage, telling ourselves that if we could just know the “Why?” we’d achieve at least a trace of comfort, of closure. Like, “Well, that’s one piece of the puzzle solved.” It’s a compulsion that intensifies the closer we identify with the victims, as we move away from asking “Why?” and towards “Why us?” We want to know what makes the bully on our playground tick.
I’ve read so many posts tonight that began, “This was an attack against the running community.” While I understand the sentiment, I disagree. Yes, for us the marathon is a celebration of the human spirit, and this attack was certainly a debilitating blow against our hearts, bodies, minds and spirit. But suggesting that symbolism was intentional is giving the attacker too much credit. I think it’s as simple as the marathon providing a venue for a disturbed person or persons to instill willful, malicious aggression upon countless others. To take joy in taking joy away from others.
I apologize if this meandering post is just an excuse to meditate out-loud, and explore all the muddled thoughts that have been swimming through my head all afternoon.
But I don’t think we should be searching for the “Why?” just yet. I don’t think we should try rationalizing an inherently evil and senseless act. Leave the motive to the investigators. Let them use it to find and hold accountable the responsible parties.
But maybe the rest of us should do something outrageous and old-fashioned, and try not to get inside the mind of our bully. Let’s set aside the “Why?” and focus rather on our own “What now?”
Let’s mourn the victims. Let’s help the survivors. Let’s celebrate the heroes. Let’s safeguard against something like this happening again. Let’s remember that we are all placed on this earth to work, live, and play together. We are a team. A big one.
As long as enough of us remember that, the human spirit will always prevail.
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- shyndig said: Great post Abel. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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- fitterisbetter said: Very well said <3
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- coreytzimmer said: very well said
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- activeinpink said: beautiful words, thank you abel.
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