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.