By now everyone has probably heard or read or watched the horrific events that unfolded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon today. I sat in my office this afternoon reeling from the images I saw. Stunned as lives were altered forever. Moved by the image of flags from around the world torn and toppled, some soaked in blood. I sat watching as tweet after tweet flew by with information (some accurate, some not so accurate) about what had happened. And then I saw the videos poor in. Images of senseless destruction and horror, one after the other, on seemingly endless repeat.
How could something like this happen? Why would someone do this? I watched and read and searched for any bit of information, hoping that it would somehow explain or justify what I was witnessing. Hoping that in the stream of 0s and 1s that brought the details from the finish line of Boston to my comfy office chair, that I’d find anything that would provide reason.
But of course there was no reasoning. How could there be?
For anyone who has taken part in a marathon – as a runner or as a spectator – they are nothing short of incredible. I have watched as every-day people have crossed the finish line to the roaring support of strangers; sometimes breaking down in tears because they accomplished something they may never have thought they’d be capable of doing. I have witnessed runners picking up and carrying those who stumbled just shy of their goal. I have felt truly inspired by runners without limbs, runners without vision, and runners with any number of physical limitations, because they ran – and continue to run – without excuses, or self-doubt, or a belief that they were less than.
The community of runners that I am so proud to be a part has again and again reminded me of the incredible human spirit, of coming together and helping those in need, of encouraging others, of reminded us to be the best we can be.
And for this I just can’t comprehend what I’ve watched unfold in Boston today. I’m truly struggling to find the words to explain, the logic to comprehend, the anything to do anything that makes any effing sense out of what we’ve all witnessed today.
Amidst the tragedy, I was reminded by a friend of a lesson shared by Mr. Fred Rogers.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster’, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
The running community has taught me that, and continues to remind me of that. The world is full of caring people, and we are stronger than those who would seek to do harm.
Be kind to each other folks. Be the helpers. The world is truly amazing so long as we keep fighting the good fight.