It has now been slightly more than a day since the tragedy in Boston unfolded. In what is perhaps a reflection of sombre sympathy by nature, it has been a dull, rainy day. The horrible consequences of the bombing will have left the people who were there irrevocably changed, and indeed the very fabric of North American society will be altered as we attempt to comprehend and adjust to the consequences of this vicious act.
We do not yet know who took these reprehensible actions, so it is too early to jump to conclusions as to the identity of those responsible. Despite the omnipresent mention of Islamic terrorism in the media, we must not forget that there is no lack of homegrown extremism that could be responsible for this act. Anders Breivik and Timothy McVeigh are certainly chilling examples that one does not need to look far to find people willing to commit heinous acts in support of an extreme and twisted world view.
We must also avoid becoming overly introspective. We have been fortunate in fortress North America to have been shielded from the vicious acts that happen frequently in other parts of the world. In some places, attacks such as these are common place. I can barely imagine the numbing and continuous horror that this must instill in the hearts of those who have to live in such places. They cannot escape it, and the vast majority of them have no more say in whether such attacks take place than we did in Boston.
In times such as these, we must remember that there are many more things that unite us as humans than those that divide us. Humanity can be better than this, and we need to continuously strive to move towards this greater state of being.
Let us ensure that there are none that feel so disenfranchised that they sense the only way to be heard is to impose violence on others.
Let us ensure that there are none that are so unwell that they feel that such acts are their only option.
Let us ensure that we are there to catch others before they hit rock bottom.
Let us ensure that we learn to see the good in others before imagining the evil in them.
These are difficult challenges, and many are easier said than done. But if we don’t start saying it, we’ll never get around to doing it.