Nobody really wakes up expecting their day to be jolted by breaking and/or devastating news, so when that’s what happens, like today with the events at the Boston Marathon and in Iraq, it takes our minds in all sorts of directions. If you’re on the scene I imagine it goes from confused to what just happened, to being scared for yourself, to being scared for those around you, to continuously wondering “why?”. Not speaking for anyone else but for me, as a person half a country and half a world away from these events I know I was just overwhelmed with the hope that as many people as possible made it out okay. I bounced around from shocked to worried to sad to grateful and then back again. But the thing that surprised me was how little I asked “who did this?”. It wasn’t that I don’t want to know and see them brought to their justice but it was more about worrying how badly hurt innocent people where and also being so proud to see how many people were running towards the middle of the action to take care of those that needed it.
As a friend of someone who is an EMT/Paramedic/First Responder I see her when I see others on-screen running into the foray or carting an injured person away to an ambulance. I realize that if we lived in Boston it would be her putting herself out there to care for others without a seconds hesitation about her own safety. And she doesn’t do it simply because it is her job but because she loves to help people and provide them with the assistance and care they need in moments of total vulnerability. People like her and the First Responders on hand in Boston today are impressive individuals that I think most of us put little thought into until events like this happen. They don’t only put their lives on the line for big events like this but they do it on a daily basis and sometimes get little recognition for it. However thankfully today I saw so many tweets, messages, comments from people giving praise to the number of people we saw running away from a finish line and back to a traumatic and dangerous situation to secure the safety and care for those in need of it. So my gratitude goes out to those First Responders, as well as the cops, and really any person who choose to run and help when they didn’t really have to but they did because they are the part that still keep my faith in humanity.
Humanity. It’s a funny word. I mean the official definition states that it is; “all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind” or “the quality or condition of being human; human nature” or “the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence”. So when people say they lose or keep their faith in humanity it feels like this all-inclusive; all or nothing term, which I think is unfair. It’s like in grade school when there is the one kid that breaks a really simple rule and the whole class is punished, which was super bogus then and remains the same today. But unlike today (for the majority of us that can fully grasp the proceedings today) back then it was used as a lesson. It was supposed to teach us to obey, to be good little beings cause if we were all good then we were all rewarded. Sadly it just isn’t that black and white any longer, we can’t condemn all of a species for the bad behavior of one or a few. No matter how optimistic you want to be you just have to admit that there is always going to be a few bad apples in the bunch. There are going to be some that fall prey to the “darkness” and “evil”, it’s just unrealistic to not acknowledge that point. But for every poisoned seed there are hundreds, if not thousands or hundreds of thousands, that are still good & going to be there to help pick up and support after the destruction left behind.
Does a philosophy like that bring back the lives lost and tragic injuries that will alter some people’s lives for the remainder? No. But it will remind us that those we lost today and those that are going to face a long road of recovery after today won’t be forgotten or forced to face drive that road alone. The nice thing about being on the heavy end of a ratio is that you know you’re surrounded by like-minded people, people who will give all the help they can. The whole concept of humanity as a condition says to me that no matter how hard some may try, you can’t break the spirit and bond of our species. We acknowledge how cool it is that we get to live and experience this life, particularly because we get to do it together, and a tiny, minuscule really, fraction of people who don’t see it that way don’t get to ruin that, we won’t allow it. Humanity bands together when we face huge, and confusing, adversity; we saw it on Women’s Rights, Civil Rights, Columbine, 9/11, Equal Rights, Aurora, and most recently at Sandy Hook to name a few times. That’s just on a national level, but we do it frequently on a global scale too. We are a resilient fucking race and that’s what I choose to take from today.
I know that lives were lost and people critically injured and my thoughts go out to those people and their friends and family. I hope the person or persons behind this are caught and forced to face the consequences of their actions. But I believe that at the end of the day we are all still inherently good and capable of good and the vast majority will prove that both today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, next generation. It’s those that fail to see how actually awesome we are as humankind that turn to violent and senseless acts only to be proven wrong by the way humanity responds to their fellow people in need.