My heart has been broken by all of the news relating to the bombing yesterday at the Boston Marathon. In college the Marathon meant more than a day without class. Some professors would still hold class, but it was generally understood that you could and should play hookie. If not only for the experience, but because half of the people you knew on campus were running. (That might be an exaggeration, but it always felt like so many people were competing). A vibrant buzz of excitement floated around campus Marathon Monday; a rare accomplishment for it is hard to get Harvard students away from their busy crammed schedules, let alone focused on something that does not have them at the center of attention.
It’s a site to behold, watching all of the athletes as they fight fatigue to finish. You scream and yell for people you have never known, you pass your energy on, and for a few hours everyone celebrates all of the athletic accomplishments. It is not of importance who wins, (of course it is to the person who does win), but rather everyone collectively competes through the act of supporting. It’s a day in celebrating what a humanity can do.
Maybe that is why it is so hard for everyone, including myself, to fathom that the Marathon was attacked. Maybe it is because a tradition held so sacred throughout my years in college was shattered. Everyone I know, thanks to facebook, is home safe and sound. But there are many others who are not as fortunate. My heart and thoughts go out to all of those who are suffering. Maybe now we can all join together to cheer them and their memory on, just as we did for all of those running. In that way the spirit of the marathon continues to live.
We have seen part of that spirit in all those who ran into the streets to protect and help the wounded and those who ran to give blood. These individuals remind us all of the goodness left in our world.
I do not think that I will ever fully understand purposely hurting other human beings. I believe strongly that we were given our lives to do good, to improve the lives of those around us, not to cause harm, pain and suffering. I hope that as a society we can find a way to come to peace amongst ourselves and those in the world and stop senseless losses of life.