I was working until 3:00 yesterday, and while I had Web access, I wasn’t looking at news sources. I pulled into my driveway and my phone popped with with “two bombs explode at Boston Marathon finish line”. I went upstairs to my den and put on the news, watching the coverage from Brian Williams on NBC all afternoon while I completed some homework for grad school.
I hopped on Facebook for a minute and I saw everyone post the usual “Prayers for Boston” statuses. I didn’t say anything; I didn’t have the right thing yet to say. And I knew my own words would not express much, because I honestly felt numb. All of the violence and all of the hatred…I just felt numb. So, I didn’t say anything. I just worked on my paper and watched the reports.
I’m not jumping to any conclusions until we know for sure who did it, but I don’t doubt there was some religious movement behind the whole thing.
I kept thinking about one of my favorite bits from a really talented comedian Patton Oswalt: Sky Cake.
While looking at Facebook later in the evening, I came across a post attributed to Patton, which summed up how disgusted I felt about the whole situation, but then again reminded me to have hope for the majority. How much kindness there is in the world.
“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.””
And I realized the reason why I felt so numb was because one day something like this is going to happen again and I am going to have to explain “why” to my daughter. The whole situation is going to break her heart and I’m going to have to be there to help her make sense of it when I don’t understand it myself. But I must remember to emphasize kindness; I must remember to emphasize the goodness that can be and will be found in people now, in the past, and going forward. That is the biggest take away: “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”