By now you’ve likely heard about the devastating explosions that occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon today.
Updates about what occurred, where it occurred, and who is responsible are already overflowing on the internet. Families are scrambling to locate their loved ones. Details about casualties and injuries are horrific. Suspicions that there might be similar explosive devices spread across the city are almost too much to bear.
Among the frenzy building across social media networks, a friend’s quiet message caught my eye and refocused my attention on what’s really important here.
“We are going to see a lot of media about the events in Boston, over the next days and weeks. It will get overwhelming and sensationalized. Stay strong brothers and sisters. The only thing that can beat this is our peace, love and drive to continue on.”
Amid the rubble, both literal and emotional, stories of hope and compassion are already emerging. The Twitter hashtag #prayforBoston was trending almost immediately. A public Facebook group called “Boston Marathon Explosion” was up within the hour, with the description: “Talk about the unfolding events and share photos. Invite your friends to participate.” Every where you looked were offers of assistance, rides, protection and comfort, often being offered to strangers by strangers.
People are also using the hashtag #bostonhelp to offer assistance through Twitter.
Knowing that thousands would be without the ability to call or be called, Google and others sprang into action (here is GoogleDocs link referenced below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1dqIKVq6IqX4BVXqOW_a9-qmXt1KJ_4Nu3NPNnC1g1mw/viewform).
It is this solidarity, this resilience, this compassion for one another that people who perpetrate these crimes find threatening. It’s easy and advantageous to control people through fear, whether it’s the threat of real violence or imagined. A population crippled by fear withdraws and hides. We allow connections to erode. We grow suspicious.
But to remain strong, to love, to share and to embrace each other in a time of crisis as well as peace, THAT is true power. To remember our common bonds, to treat each other with respect and compassion, this is the most perfect way to fight back against those who would keep us terrified and isolated.
We are too strong, too smart and too human to be controlled by such a cheap tactic. Find a way to reach out in love to someone affected by this disaster, whether you know them or not. Only together can we heal the sickness that causes these atrocities to occur.
Image via ItsJennaMarbles on Twitter