As the news has come in about the horrific tragedy today in Boston, we are left with the same feeling we got last December after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings…in the early morning of 9/11/01…or even as far back as eighteen years ago this week–April 17, 1995–the Oklahoma City bombing….
Is there nowhere that we can feel safe?
As of this writing, three people are now dead from the explosions–one of them an eight-year-old child–and the FBI is calling the bombings “a potential terrorist attack.”
I have come to approach these senseless takings of lives in an admittedly imperfect way, almost as if they are out of our hands–like natural disasters such as the Japanese tsunami, Hurricane Sandy or random tornado destruction–where a few poor souls just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As the saying goes, “When your number’s up, your number’s up.”
Of course, this is in no way meant to diminish the grief of those who have lost loved ones through these tragedies, or to pardon or excuse the actions of those that caused the injuries and deaths. The fact remains that it could have been prevented, it didn’t have to happen…unlike natural disasters in which the only way to be safe is to be many miles away, because we have no way–at least not at present–to control the forces of Nature.
LIke I said, it was just my way to cope with it, so I don’t just stay inside every day and live in fear of potential terrorist attacks. Even then, one on a citywide scale or in my neighborhood could still fell me in my own home.
One of the only good things about Facebook and Twitter (some would say) is that both allow an individual or group a way to spread a thought or message across the country and around the world. So much the better if it’s a positive one.
This post was on Facebook this late afternoon. I’d like to share it with you. There is some strong language, but it’s not just for show–he is understandably upset and concerned, as I think we probably all should be, at least a little. After all–when will it be a sporting event we participate in or watch…an elementary school our child attends…an office building that we work in?
From Patton Oswalt:
Boston. Fucking horrible.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). 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 awhile, 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.”