4/16/13

The Finish Line . . .

I got some praise and some chiding for my reaction to people's reaction to the Newtown massacre but fast forward a few months and I can't help but get back on my soapbox and just ask everyone to stop. STOP. S-T-O-P.

No. Not with the empathy or the compassion or the personal reflections of appreciation for your safety or the safety of friends and family in Boston but STOP with the need to make this personal for you. If you were not in Boston at the time of the blast - specifically within the blast zone you should not be trying to make the horrific explosions "yours." I don't care that you once ran a/the marathon. I don't see how your one time residence in Boston matters in this context. I can't see how your dreams to eventually run a marathon need to be shared with the world at this moment. I just don't.

People DIED and more people were injured and some people had a day they have dreamed of/worked
My (least) favorite example of compassion.
toward for years ruined. People were scared. Some may never, really feel safe again. Your day wasn't messed up at all. The people who heard/saw/felt the blast were either in the immediate afterglow of running one of the world's most famous marathons or they were there to support those running. They were doing it for themselves or their families and friends and maybe for a cause or issue that matters to them. They were not doing it so that you could turn their tragedy in to your most recent Tweet you hope gets "favorited" or "re-Tweeted" nor for your Facebook post that people could "like" and if you're one of the people railing against those doing the above or, even worse, sharing the links to photos and videos of the explosions . . . you're no better. We all have Google. We can find those things for ourselves if we want or need them.

Here's what we SHOULD be doing in times like this as relates to the specifics and the judgement and the finger points . . . waiting. It takes time. It takes clarity. We (as a people) got so many things "wrong" with 9/11, the first World Trade Center bombing, Columbine, Columbine again, Newtown, etc. etc. etc. because we all had to share what we thought we knew and it is just created confusion and noise. So I might suggest this in the meantime . . .

  1. Talk about the people running TOWARD the problem. PRAISE the first responders, volunteers, and people who felt compelled to see if they could help in any way, those who finished the marathon in the moments immediately before or after and helped keep some hint of peace. APPLAUD those that, as has been reported, ran directly from the finish line to a local hospital to give blood. GET ON YOUR HIGH HORSE for the people who hugged and held a stranger in crisis and helped reassure them it would be okay.
  2. Do SOMETHING other than talk. GO donate blood (we truly never know when/where shit like this will happen again). Call your entire family and all your friends and tell them you love them NOT because of what happened today but because you don't do it enough and it is the right thing to do. Stay off social media and avoid the Internet (see the fact above about all this taking time) and spend more quality time with people you love who are going to go back out in to the world tomorrow and could easily get caught up in something like this (or YOU could). Get yourself mentally prepared that if there was ever a crisis in your vicinity you'd pitch in and help and - for the love of G-d - next time you see someone in crisis (in this blatant capacity or far, far more subtly) HELP THEM!


I say these two things as a tandem and they are both important. Why? Because from what I'm seeing this morning (facts more clear than they were yesterday) this was an act of terrorism (from whatever people or individuals that may have put it together) the key take away to cowardly muhfukahs like these cowardly muhfukahs is that we won't be destroyed or beaten. Our resolve is too strong, our humanity and sense of it too intact, and our genuine love for our common man and woman is far, far too intrinsic and natural for us in terms of how we might respond. This is not the last time someone(s) - domestic or foreign - will test us on our soil. This is not the last time people will be injured and/or die senselessly while trying to just have a day. We are in a world where stuff like this will continue here, there, and everywhere. The only thing we CAN "do" is to unite around situations like this and prove that we're the citizenry of the United States of America. We are a group. We are not a bunch of isolated, selfish, self-centered people who must make/take everything "about" us. We won't be defeated by shitty little people and their bombs, guns, threats, and cowardice because there are millions more of us than their are them.

People died. People were gravely injured. People's lives were thrown out of whack. We worry about and for them. We care about our country and what happens in it. That is "it" - that is your storyline. Enough with the rest. We should HONOR those that were directly effected (and their friends and family who may never get back what they sent out in to the world Monday morning) by not taking away from their personal loss and making this personal for us. We should ENCOURAGE those who really did pitch in but not pretending our jog around the neighborhood is the same as what they did.

Before one of you gets in a bunch . . . Grieve. That is natural. Be fearful (if you must - if this was terrorism, that is what "they" would want). That is acceptable. Find the positive. That is encouraged. Reflect. That is proper. Learn. That is important.

With my rant over - my thoughts, prayers, and best wishes go out to everyone effected by Monday's blast including the marathon participants and the city of Boston. My thanks, appreciation, and respect go out to anyone that ran toward the blast and helped in any way, manner, shape, or form. My apologies are extended to anyone offended at my reaction (Tweet and Facebook about it, naturally (grimace)). My thumbs up to anyone who feels (like I do) and wants us to go back to being an empathetic nation of people who don't need everything to be about "me."