to be human.

I had a mini-draft of this that I jotted down in various places. A few thoughts on my iPhone. Phrases scribbled on the backs of receipts from brunches. Ideas circulating around in my head. It wasn’t going to be published or shared, but instead just something for me and my journals.
But then yesterday happened.
My Twitter feed started making me nervous and within minutes, I was quite panicked. Boston has a special place in my heart. Hopkinton is the start of the Boston Marathon and was more or less the start of my memories.
As I was reading through the frantic, confusing, and disturbing Tweets I was growing more and more upset. Initially it was selfish, thinking about whether my friend was running again this year. When the last time my best friend and I had talked because, of course, I knew she would be downtown celebrating and cheering. My friends from blogging who were chronicling their friends’ and families’ races.
I was absolutely sick with worry. I had tunnel vision as I called and texted and followed along on Twitter. I ended up leaving and going home and getting in bed. I slept and maybe I thought that when I woke up it would be 8am and not 8pm and that it would have all been a nightmare. With my eyes still closed, I had forgotten. And then the light blinded me just as the events of the day blinded me again. My body was stiff with tension and it hurt to move.
It hurt to know that this was human. Have we gotten to the point where we have forgotten that we are human? That we are one?
The fall Hurricane was devastating, but out of our hands. We spaghetti-modeled and sandbagged but ultimately we waited to see what would happen. This though, was in human hands. Hands we clap with, hug with, build with, hold and lift with. We feed ourselves and we feed others. We story-tell with wild gestures. We cheer on runners and hold up hand-drawn posters! Hands we pray with.
Our human hands have power.
And just like in mythical fairytales told to children to teach lessons, this power can destruct and hurt.
The hands we hit with, tear with, clench fists with, push down and dismiss with. We hurt ourselves and we hurt others. We write mean things with pens and keyboards. We destroy the beauty, the safety, and the peace. Hands we wreck with.
This is not the time to blame and divide. What is one person’s problem is our problem. An eye for an eye leaves us that much more blind than before. A tooth for a tooth and our communication breaks down even more.
To be human is to be singular; to be one. We are one world. We have one past, one present, and one future. To be human is to try our best to do our best. To be human is to rise together when a mistake has happened.
Together, we are one and we are human.
I think what’s hardest to come to terms with is I feel like we’re totally broken as a society. Bullying in schools has gotten out of hand. (Frankly, bullying among adults has gotten out of hand.) Television shows are dedicated to trashing and bashing celebrities. We hurt ourselves by overeating and undereating and cutting corners in safety to save a dollar. We overspend and fill voids with handbags, cars, and second mortgages.
I don’t have the answer, but I certainly have a lot of questions.
There is obviously a lot of wonderful in the world, and now is the time when we absolutely need to remember this more than ever. 

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This is a beautiful, thoughtful post. So appropriate. I hope you don't let this terrible tragedy get you down for too long because you're right, there is so much good we can see in the world even (and especially) now.


This is so beautiful, Carly. This is such a terrible tragedy but like you said, there's still so much good in this world. Tragedies like this remind us to count our blessings every day and pray that things will get better. It reminds us to cherish those we love and to reflect on our own actions with all people, especially when it comes to bullying, like you said. We may never get the answers to the questions we ask about the world and why things like this happen, but keeping hope and faith help to overcome these obstacles in life. Thank you so much for your beautiful words.

A Preppy State of Mind

You are such a strong and inspirational person, Carly! Everything you have listed is so true. As my instagram feed was filled with "Prayers for Boston", I noticed some people who took this as being no big deal and even went as far to say rude comments. It boggles my mind as to why people would want to commit such tragedies, tear one another down, tear families apart, etc. I know we all have different opinions, but, as you said, we are all human. We need to love and uplift one another. Thank you for this wonderful post! It surely uplifted me, and I'm sure many others who read this will feel the same.

Katy Z

Someone I know posted this quote earlier, it really helped:

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Maggie Royce

Love, love, love this. my Grandma was at an Appointment when it happened, she said that what she saw she will forced be different. My best friend's dad was missing for 2 hours, and will have to have his leg amputated.
But everyone is so negative about everything but the only thing we can do is be positive, from today we never know what days are our last.


Great post! I'm a huge Beatles fan, and that quote has always been one of my favorites! John Lennon was a wise man. Its comforting to know that others feel this tragedy personally too. A terrible person was responsible for it all, but there are good people left out there… this post makes that obvious! Thank you for brightening my morning!


I always relate to your writing, but this especially is very poignant and touching. Thank you, as always, for being real and reiterating the fact that there is beauty out there, even if our vision is currently clouded with negativity.


the things that keep happening break my heart. and to think we still have north korea threatening to nuke us. my stomach has hurt all day long just thinking about how horrible our world has become.


A meaningful and lovely post. I like the Fred Rogers quote, " “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" People are good, a few of us are bad and to bad, but WE, human beings, are good.

Kathryn Rezuke

This was one of my favorite posts of yours so far! I am a college student in Fairfield, CT but my heart is in Worcester, MA. My dad works in downtown Boston and the rest of my family was at the parade. It was one of the hardest days this semester by far and I am so glad you could find the words I was trying to say! Thank you! And please, never stop posting! You start out my day!


Well said, Carly. If we don't move forward (no matter how hard that may be), we're letting the bad guys win. And we can't do that.

I hope your friend is OK!

Brooke Miller

Hey great post. I think that The Book of Mormon could provide a lot of answers to your questions. That book has changed my life and has provided so much comfort to me during times of trials. Truly an amazing book:)


It seems as if everyone is complaining about our "broken society" these days, and everything that's been said is true. But it makes absolutely no sense to wish for "thegood old days" in another decade or century because there's always something broken in a society. Maybe we're not as human as we could be, but were we really ever? At least we should be thankful to live in America because many other countries have it ten times worse. Although it's horribly wrong, we're not losing any "humanism" by a couple mass shootings. Executions and murder have been going on since the beginning of time. In the Bible and Medieval Times, people were pretty much killed on a daily basis. Now, two people get killed by a bomb and people are scared that the world is "falling apart." The world is not falling apart. Unfortunately, this is mankind and has been going on for centuries. It doesn't make it right, but my point is that there is ALWAYS something wrong with the world. There is ALWAYS suffering. It cannot be stopped. It has appeared in different forms in the history of the world. You can say you want to live in the 50s because "there was no media and people were happier." Well, that's true. But there was segregation, discrimination, the Cold War, healthcare wasn't very advanced and it was difficult to communicate. We actually have it VERY good. People in the 50s peobably wanted to live in the early 1900s, where technology or healthcare had barely advanced at all, city conditions were terrible, and wealth was distributed unevenly. Every decade wishes for another bcause there's always something wrong with the one we live it. Sufferinf is going to be there. Depsite this decade's struggles, we must remember what we have.

Julia D.

"I don't have the answer, but I certainly have a lot of questions." You definitely hit the nail on the head with that. My heart wants to believe you, pleads with me to say "YES! Humanity is one! We can work together!" but my gut, logic, and experiences tell me otherwise. We aren't one. Nowhere is this more evident than in North American tragedies. By no means do I want to belittle what is an extremely painful event for an entire nation, but why do our hearts not bleed the same way for exponentially more bloodshed (daily, might I add) around the world, if we are all one? Why do we not question immediately WHY these men felt so alienated by the United States? Why do we not acknowledge that individuals are made up of unique characteristics and systems of oppression that alienate them from one another and privilege certain members of society? I want us to be one. At times like this we prove that certain members of the country manage to band together, but there are barriers to this "one-ness" that need to be lifted when the darkness of tragedy lifts. Basically, all of that waxing-poetic comes down to one thing: we aren't one and need to stop saying we are so that we can get there. I hope all of your friends and family are safe.