By now, everyone that is a Blogger, Facebooker, Tweeter, journalist, or just a human being has commented on the Boston Marathon bombings. As I watched the atrocities in my town, on the streets that I visit almost weekly, I reconciled that this is the reality of my world and it is time to wake up from the dream. In my last blog post, I asserted that life has taught me that things like drugs, sex, violence, war, politics, materialism, genocide, love, hope, spirituality, and success really are derivatives of the survival instinct. Little did I know, days later, the Boston Marathon bombings would create an internal struggle to understand why someone would intentionally attempt to harm other people. It was as if because it hit home and I despised what my eyes were witnessing, I didn’t want to accept the answer I had already formulated.
I raked my brain, heart, and television trying to understand why violence exists, why empathy is a disappearing act, and why things like this cannot seem to be prevented. After all the mental agony of trying to figure it out, I concluded that I will never truly understand because I can probably never live another person’s life or actually walk in their shoes. As I considered the social diversity of America, and the layers of diverse personal experience, beliefs, history, and culture, I understood that the ample factors that help to create and impact an individual are the same exact factors that produce in him/her hatred, violence, pain, and cruelty. In everyone’s struggle for survival, EVERYONE asks questions of life’s existence, life’s hardships, life’s ironies, and life’s joys. Unfortunately my friend, the answers and ideas that people find, accept, and create do not always match your personal philosophy. I don’t think violence is the way, someone else is convinced it is. You may believe someone is wrong, they believe they’re right. What then? You convert, torture, harass until they believe what you believe? Good luck doing that for 7 billion people in the world.
First Lesson: So, as I sat trying to understand the Boston Marathon bombings and all the other senseless deaths that have occurred in the United States over the past year, I concluded that these kinds of atrocities will never end and the people who commit these acts may indeed feel happy, fulfilled, relieved, and complete afterwards. I know you rather hear that there is a way to ensure this never happens again, but there is not. Accept it. This is the world we live. We can attempt to minimize, protect, avoid, and change, but at the end of the day, we can only control so much of another person’s actions. As much as I would like, everyone does not think like me, so therefore, as I try to make the world a better place, and try I will, we have to accept the fact that other people feel differently.
Second Lesson: As awful as I felt for the victims of the bombing, I could not help but think about the people in other countries that have to deal with this (and sometimes worse) EVERYDAY. Also, let us not forget the soldiers that fight everyday for what they believe is right and just and experience the same thing. In this, it revealed a major hypocrisy and double standard. When it happens to people in other countries or to people we may never meet, it is chalked up to causalities of war, necessary action, and the nature of life. Yet, when something similar happens in America or to our soldiers, it is wrong, intolerable, unnecessary, evil, wicked, and warrants the worst justice on earth. As people all over my social media feeds demanded and chanted for the perpetrators death, I could not help but wonder if that’s exactly how other countries feel about us; or maybe even how the person(s) responsible felt about a person(s), our government, or the entire nation. In this case, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” becomes a eerie statement that may explain this entire experience.
Third Lesson: There are still many good people left in the world. As the first-responders ran to assist the victims, strangers and spectators carried them to the medical tent, and a few other heroes applied pressure with their clothes and bare hands to major arteries of those that lost limbs, I was reminded that in the midst of evil, there still exists good. In the aftermath, as all the various law enforcement agencies banded together to help, protect, investigate, and hunt for those responsible, it was a beautiful picture that offered hope to the idea that good can still outweigh the most ugly evil.
April 15, 2013, to the Boston Marathon bombings, you taught me some realities of life that I have fought to never accept. I felt that if I accepted them, my resolve to fight against them would in some way be weaken. In all the lessons from that day, you have talk me that only in accepting the ugly and evil of our world can I understand it enough to solve, avoid, and prevent it on scales both large and small.
My prayers and heart goes out to all the victims that we lost as a result of the bombings and to anyone around the world that has ever lost someone due to violence of this nature. Keep the faith.