Christopher Thompson's Closing the Deal: We are surrounded by good
This past week, our worst fears came true. Terrorism struck again, and this time it was in our backyard. While there have been countless terrorist plans and attempts thwarted, we've been fortunate to have avoided this reality for so long.
April 15 will be permanently etched into our minds, just like Sept. 11. It's a day we will never forget and a day where we will remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the news about the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Like most people, I was working. I was at my desk when a co-worker who lives in Boston casually came up to me with a concerned but calm look on his face and asked if I was busy. He stated that there had been a bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line. I immediately checked various news websites, and at the time there were no news reports online about the situation. He explained that his wife works at the Prudential Center in Boston and that she sent him a text message saying there was a bomb that went off and that the entire building was on lock down. She had tried to call him, but the cell service was not working. It's a moment I will never forget.
As news of the terrorist attack started to come out, I was shocked. My shock quickly turned to anger, and that anger hasn't subsided much. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the world can't fathom what happened. And we all have the same question. Why? As difficult as it is to comprehend, it's important to also look for the good that comes out of horrible situations like this. And immediately following the bombings, there was plenty of examples of good and heroism.
I immediately tuned into live news sources that were reporting from the scene in Boston. The scene was chaotic but I noticed something else. Yes, there was a catastrophic incident, several people killed and hundreds of people severely injured, but the good that was happening right before my eyes couldn't be overlooked.
There was one part of video that really stuck out in my mind. As the first bomb went off and people realized what was happening, people started to flee the area. But there were a lot of people who didn't. Instead, they risked their own lives and immediately started helping those who were injured, not knowing what could happen next. Along with the police, fire and medical personnel who were on the scene, ordinary people acted selflessly and put the needs and safety of others before their own. And that is something I find absolutely amazing.
Over the last week, people have shared their feelings, opinions and thoughts about the terrorist attack in Boston. I've read a lot of them, and I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to express my own feelings in the Sunday News today.
Of all the posts and comments I've read, there is one that I believe sums it all up the best. It's a quote we can all relate to and it details how so many of us feel. It's a quote that has gone viral and while it's been read by a lot of people, I consider it worthy of sharing.
Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt posted the following:
"I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, 'Well, I've had it with humanity.' But I was wrong,' This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it, but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in a while, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness. But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak.
"This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago. So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, 'The good outnumber you, and we always will.'"
While we are all still in shock and grieving for those that lost their lives and the many who were gravely injured, it's important for us to do what we do best. Stay strong, support those in need and most importantly, don't let the gruesome, cowardly acts of others influence or change our lives in any way.
Christopher Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes Closing the Deal weekly for the Sunday News.