A day after the 2013 Boston Marathon, I wrote down some thoughts on this blog. I was sore like hell, and the manhunt was still ongoing, and the city was in lockdown, and nobody really knew what to do. I knew I just needed to write. And so I grabbed a coffee and an Advil – and with great physical and emotional pain consuming my body, I wrote. I wrote about the thrill of running a marathon, of seeing the thousands of supporters along the route, of pushing the human body to its limits, of witnessing the chaos unfold in front of my endorphin-filled eyes.
It was the best and worst day of my life.
I also wrote that people tend to show their best in the aftermath of unspeakable tragedies. It was true after Boston, and it is true now after Paris, and it will always be true. The vast, vast majority of humans want to help. It is an inherent quality. I think back to the old Mr. Rogers quote. ‘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.’
We cling to these stories, of hope and courage, of the first responders, of the people running into the fire, of the helpers. What else can we do? A bunch of crazy people detonate suicide vests, open fire on a crowd, and 130 people are dead. There is no way to make sense of that.
I look to Twitter and Facebook to see what the masses are saying. Some are emotional. Some are political. Some use hashtags. Some disengage entirely. It is utterly fascinating.
We are grasping for answers, for justice, in an unclear and unjust world.
There are no answers right now.
So I sit here and I breathe and I write. I look for the good. That is all I can do.