Reflection: The Boston Marathon Bombings

By now, you have probably seen news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. As I watched these atrocities happen in my town, on the streets that I visit almost weekly, I reconciled that this is the reality of the world and it is time to wake up from the dream.

The Boston Marathon bombings created an internal struggle to understand why someone would intentionally attempt to harm and kill another person. I just don’t get it.

I racked my brain, heart, and television trying to understand why violence exists, why empathy feels like a disappearing act, and why we can’t prevent horrors like this. After trying to figure it out, I concluded that I will never truly understand. In our struggle for survival, we all question life’s existence, hardships, and even joys at times; however, I don’t think violence is ever the answer.

Reflection 1: 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 came to the conclusion that these kinds of atrocities will never end, and the people who commit them may indeed feel happy, fulfilled, relieved, and complete afterward. I know you rather hear that there is a way to ensure this never happens again, but there is not. Our only hope is spreading love and hoping that love will eventually conquer hate. So, then again, maybe it is possible. Until then, this is the world we live in. We can try to minimize, protect, avoid, and change hate, but at the end of the day, we can only control so much of another person’s actions.

Reflection 2: 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) every day. Also, let us not forget the soldiers that fight every day for what they believe is right and just and experience the same horrors. These bombings are an uncommon experience in this country; however, it’s the norm in other parts of the world that have been at war for years. When it happens to people in other countries or to people we may never meet, we look at it as the causalities of war, an unfortunate yet necessary action. What I see clearly now is that we should never normalize this type of violence.

Reflection 3: There are still so 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 to wounds with their clothes and bare hands. This reminded me that in the midst of evil, there is still good in the world. In the aftermath, people banded together to help, protect, investigate, and hunt for those responsible. It was beautiful to see that good can still outweigh the ugliest evil.

April 15, 2013: Boston Marathon bombings, you reminded me of aspects of life that I fought to never accept. I felt that if I accepted them, my resolve to fight against them would in some way be weakened. In all the lessons from that day, you have taught me that only by seeing the ugly and evil of our world can I understand it enough to solve, avoid, and prevent it. I still don’t understand, but I will keep fighting against evil.

My prayers and heart go 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.