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Where do you begin when something this devastating happens? What do you say? Why did this happen?
Sometimes we never get those answers and other times, we grasp at straws to somehow find a connection to explain such acts of terror. We label people off of negative stereotypes to somehow justify what is going on. Some people tend to think “well, they’ve done it before; they’ll do it again” and instead don’t allow themselves to grow as individuals. They point fingers and use slurs, instill fear and spread hatred all so they can make sure we stay backwards as a nation and society.
But we aren’t those people. Debating on if this was an act of terror or a terrorist act won’t solve any problems nor will they do anything but spread animosity and sometimes, bigotry.
Some, unfortunately too many, will automatically assume this is a result of Islamic terrorism; a disgusting stereotype that can lead to violence.
But how do we make sense of this?
I do not have that answer and its probably a guarantee that we will never get an answer that will satisfy what we witnessed.
I’m a runner. I’m a competitive collegiate runner and I’ve been in the sport for eight years already with the hopes of maybe coaching in my post-academic life. As a hobby, running has become a serious part of my normal life. I spend days on LetsRun and Flotrack and even writing blog posts for a small running website I helped start. It is my passion.
The Boston Marathon, along with the London and New York Marathons, is almost the running version of the Super Bowl; at least in the distance community. Nothing compares to it and the elites that show up for the races are usually the cream of the crop. But lost in the shuffle are those who aren’t professional runners or former competitive distance runners.
They are the “joggers”, the “runners”, the “competitors” that we always overlook. The ones whose friends, families, coworkers, teammates, etc. all show up for when race day happens. They are the ones who cheer them on for 26.2 miles and are there for them at the finish line. The finish line of a marathon, even though I have yet to run one, is the most welcomed sight for any runner. Its justification that YOU did this. You pushed yourself to run a distance that you would normally drive. Instead of commuting, you ran.
But this happens. Something that is above running, something that is above many things. We aren’t just talking about a loss of life but also the loss of innocence of many children (including an eight year old fatality) in the world. A bomb went off in a civilian setting…a setting that was supposed to be of celebration and high fives.
Today, children all across the Boston area had the day off for Patriots Day. On their day off, when they should be laughing and playing, they are probably in fear. What can we do?
That’s the question everyone is asking, but few have given answers for. However I know what we should not do. We should not place the blame on a group of people who some “speculate” did it. We should not listen to Pamela Geller. We should not try to politicize this nor should we debate on what happened. We know what happened, the last thing we need is more mudslinging when we should be uniting.
Yes its cliche and corny but I don’t care about any one person’s words. I care about what happened and what we can do for those who need our help more than our opinions on people. We are better than this.
Let’s prove it.