Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gathering Strength

I wasn't going to say anything about what happened in Boston on Monday because I didn't think I had anything to add. Certainly nothing I could say more eloquently than what has already been said. But reading, yet again, another story about how selfless people have been in helping the injured sparked a thought that I do want to share.

Which is that whatever it is that these horrible people are trying to do when they commit crimes like this, I think it's having the opposite effect.

Yes, the point of Monday's attack was seemingly to hurt as many people as possible in as many ways possible. The timing and the type of bombs used support this idea. And they did. Lives were lost. Lives were changed irrevocably and forever. Mission accomplished.

But something else is happening as well. People are growing stronger. We are seeing past the evil and the atrocities inflicted to see what humanity really is about. It is about kindness and selflessness. It is about those running towards the explosions to see how they can help. It's about offering a blanket or a cup of coffee or holding a hand.

Determination and resolve are forming. My friend J says he has always wanted to run in the Boston Marathon, it's always been a dream and a goal. But now he defiantly wants to go. Defiantly. In the face of. Because of. Because he is not going to let someone take that dream from him.

Here's another thing. Any time a tragedy happens in Boston, or Newtown, or Columbine, or wherever, I learn a little more about my country. I learn about the spirit of the people in these places. These American people. There is no division between political party or county line, north and south or east and west. I feel more connected to my country each time we are damaged because I see who we really are. How strong and capable and kind and generous. This is when patriotism means something to me.

So, to anyone, anywhere who wishes us harm: this is a war you won't win. You are not tearing us apart. You are bringing us together. You are creating love that replaces your hate. We are capable of far more and far better than you because of the love we have for each other. This love has a greater effect than you ever will.


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