I am a “runner.”
I have been participating in races since 2006. I have run or walked or wogged multiple 5k’s, 10k’s and half marathons.
I have a half marathon next month.
I can not imagine the emotional roller coaster the runners, spectators, volunteers, and workers are going through.
I have, as is my style, been avidly perusing the news, running blogs, Runners World, Twitter, and Facebook searching for the information, the stories, the answer to the “Why?” question. This is how I battle the emotion. I seek out information.
I have come across so many *amazing* articles, stories, memes, and comments. Patton Oswalt wrote on Facebook about how the good outnumber the bad. A Fred Rogers, of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood television fame, quote is being passed around…”look for the helpers.” This is what is so amazing to me.
In the massive, traumatic aftermath of an event such as this, with blood and injury and strangers everywhere, people ran INTO the chaos to help. Not just police and medics, but everyday people. Other runners stopped and helped apply tourniquets, strangers helped offer comfort, the people of Boston and the surrounding communities poured out of their homes to help the runners stopped at mile 25.5, and started a Google spreadsheet to offer a place to sleep or a meal.
After 9-11 and the loss of so many of the first responders I wondered if future events would see a slower response, if those brave souls, in an effort to protect their own lives, would hold back some, or if alternate protocols would be put in place to protect first responders from secondary attacks.
I am awed by the bravery, courage, and unconditional love shown by the people near the finish line, the medics, fire and police, the volunteers and the people throughout the community. Backs were not turned on the hurt, the response was not delayed. This is the great thing about humanity. A horrible evil was perpetrated on a group of innocents and the response by the community was immediate and overwhelming.
I’m not going to jump on a political bandwagon here…but I wonder…in those blood-soaked moments did anyone care if the person they were tending to was gay or straight? No. They didn’t. If you read the articles, the first person stories, the eyewitness reports, the only thing that people were thinking about was helping another human being. There are stories of strangers, speaking different languages, offering comfort to one another.
There are no answers as of yet. It is too soon. We don’t know who or why. We know that as of now 3 people were murdered by this cowardly act and another 130 people were injured. We also know that countless more dropped everything to tend to the wounded, both physically and emotionally.
Many people wonder, in the aftermath of tragedy, what can I do to help?
What can you do to help? You can live. You can go out into the world and share love and understanding with your fellow man.
You can also make a monetary or blood donation to the American Red Cross.
If you are a runner/walker/wogger like me and have a race-shirt, wear your shirt today to show solidarity with Boston. Heck, I’m going to say if you are any type of sport enthusiast and have a finishers shirt…wear it! Wear your shirt today to support Boston.
Remember, evil cannot flourish where there is love. And here…here we have love.