Yesterday was tragic, and we can make it worse if we’re not smart.
The Boston Marathon is special, in that it’s a local event into which the community invites the entire world to take part. Those whom attend usually do so for very personal reasons; the lifetime runner who competes for a place in history, the man who finally conquered his struggle with weight loss, the person who started running as a distraction from an abusive relationship, the woman running to raise funds for her relative’s medical expenses, the father pushing his disabled child in their wheelchair so they can share in the spirit of the event…they’re all there.
These persons likely woke up yesterday with a positive outlook on the day that would unfold. They went through their particular morning preparations as they have done many times before. Maybe they reflected on the journey that led them to this day, going over all the difficult things that have taken place in their life and how they successfully overcame them. For some, just a few years ago the thought of running the Boston Marathon was just a dream, and now they’ll be able to realize that dream.
Culturally, the Boston Marathon is incredibly important. It fosters and enhances our sense of global community, encourages a healthy lifestyle and is one of the few sporting events we have in the world which is all about one thing…cheering. There are no boos at the Boston Marathon. People come together to cheer on strangers in the street, and show them that while they are running alone, we’re all in this together.
And then suddenly, two bombs go off. Three people die; hundreds injured; lives altered forever in less than two seconds.
After seeing and hearing so much speculation and rhetoric, it’s obvious that the country is very confused. We are just as confused now as we were last December with Newtown, last July with Denver, with 9/11, OKC, Waco…the list goes on and on. Most of us can agree that we want the person or persons who orchestrated these events to be apprehended and brought to justice. However, the way many of us are communicating those feelings is very upsetting.
Yes, we are angry; we are VERY angry. But so was the person who caused this tragedy; and long before the bombs were planted, before the decision to get the materials to make them, before they started down a path of destruction — something happened. We don’t understand how another human being gets to the point where they decide that ending human lives is appropriate or justified, and when we take to social media to post our feelings on that subject, we expose our ignorance for everyone to see.
Let me say that again: we expose our ignorance for EVERYONE to see.
In your personal life, “everyone” includes your parents, siblings, grandma and grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins, your boss and everyone at work, your friends from high school, your boyfriend or girlfriend, wife or husband, your fans, your clients and prospective clients, and so on.
In your digital life, “everyone” means every corporation’s page you’ve “liked”; they gather everyone’s posts and look for commonalities so they can focus their advertising campaigns around your lifestyle. It means the government and the politicians and the lobbyists who mine data to create successful political campaigns based on the current culture and sentiment across the country. “Everyone” also means anyone else in the world…including those who want to hurt and harm us.
When we display and defend our ignorance as a virtue of patriotism to our country, we send a message to the corporations, our government and the rest of the world that America is an ignorant country. Would you help a country mired in ignorance, or just take advantage of it as best you can while it is still possible??
Bottom line, the perpetrators need to be found and they need to lose freedoms — their freedom ends where ours begins. Let’s just try to love everybody in the process, and not let hate blind us to the truth…
I am. You are. We are…all connected.
Thanks for reading. Much love.