Looking for an original thought to comfort. In the wake of such an awful tragedy, does that even matter? People are dead, and many more injured, because of a bombing at yesterday’s Boston Marathon, our country’s oldest marathon — and on a day commemorating the first battles of the Revolutionary War.
Like many of you, I woke up safely in my bed and thankful none of my loved ones were placed in harm’s way yesterday. This relief, however, is tinged by the fact that others did not sleep so soundly last night, that fear of an unimaginable evil kept them awake. Twenty-four hours ago, these people were happy and healthy and rooting for the runner in the family. Hours later, their lives were changed drastically: Evil reared its ugly head and accomplished what it had intended. Now we are on the road to recovery.
It’s amazing to me how quickly that happens, the recovery process. Tragedy strikes, and people act without question. The goodness and steadfastness of the human spirit is always inspiring. Evil had its moment for a couple of seconds, then it was flushed out of time by good people doing good things.
Maybe that’s why evil persists. Maybe it lacks the mental capabilities to understand that a moment is only a moment, and that it’s over as quickly as it began. Then it keeps seeking out those moments. It looks for satisfaction in the wrong places. Like anyone looking for fulfillment in riches and possessions, evil strives to build a life out of the ephemeral. OK, so your bomb went off and you had a laugh. Now what? The moment of victory is far too fleeting to live for that alone.
Recovery from tragedy on the other hand lasts days, weeks, months. And out of the fear and heartache, bonds are strengthened and new ones built. It makes coming home that much sweeter. Every breath is reenforced as the gift it is. These kinds of satisfactions are a million times greater than any mere moment of victory because they are timeless, they are perpetual, and they inspire progress.
I only hope that those who experienced more than a shaken worldview can find the comfort they need to pull through this.
I’m appalled by such events and all similar events. But admittedly, while I fear the small-mindedness of the people who would employ such a horrific attempt to earn the public’s attention, I also pity it. Because evil is born out of ignorance, and ignorance simply cannot survive. Once it is discovered who the culprit or culprits are, their personal stories will not even be a footnote in history. Life goes on, scar tissue and all, and our collective narrative will ultimately be one of good triumphing over evil and ignorance.
Thanks for reading.