Perhaps you know who I mean: the individual or individuals who created another scene of death and destruction, the horrific scene which unfolded on April 15, at the Boston Marathon. Someone with hearts full of evil and anger and hatred destroyed so many people’s lives, through death and terrible injury. And not just at the finish line, but at the finish line when many those who were crossing were running for someone else. In memory of someone. For pledges to help someone. People who were perhaps finishing the marathon to prove they could, to themselves, after enduring illness or injury.
Deliberately injuring another human being is not a ‘normal’ human activity. And it has been widely noted that after that first explosion, so many ran to the area rather than away. To help, not to hurt. So they who created this horrific situation (I really cannot think of a better adjective right now) managed to murder an eight-year old boy, and a young woman, and another who is still unidentified. And many of the runners lost limbs and suffered other terrible injuries. So what possible cause could this further? What cause can any such effort further? The answer is, of course, none, absolutely none. And they who have done such a thing will find they have no satisfaction, no closure to wrongs, real or imagined, no reason for pride.
We must remind ourselves, during this, another sad and difficult time of so many recent ones, of those who set themselves to help, to comfort, to rescue. We must remind ourselves of the individuals who are suffering through this time. We must remind ourselves of the basic decency of the human race in spite of such events as this.
And the only other thing that we can do, far from the scene and helpless to help directly, is to reach out to those around us whom we can help right where we are. We can practice kindness and courtesy and gentleness and encouragement until those habits become ingrained and automatic. We can try.