Last Updated on April 16, 2013 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
When I’m upset, or hurt, I tend to write. It’s therapeutic for me, to just let the emotions flow.
But when I’m pissed off, the words are sparse and concise.
I’m somewhat torn between all of those emotions right now, and can’t seem to fall asleep until I put the emotions into words, poetic or otherwise blunt. Seeing all of the other blog posts, status updates, and other ramblings of people in the social media world just trying to make some sort of sense of all of this makes me realize I’m not alone.
So for what it’s worth, here’s what I have to say.
Boston. As human beings, we are all saddened by today’s horrific events. As a mother, I question what kind of world I brought two wonderfully perfect little lives into, and I fear for their future, and the heartache they will likely one day witness. But as a runner, I am downright livid. Someone hurt our family today. And not just “hurt”, but a dirty kick below the belt kind of hurt. Unthinkable, despicable, inhumane hurt, on a day that in our world, is meant for celebrating.
The question on everyone’s mind is, why? Religious reasons? Political? Moral? Ethical? Pure evil? All of the above?
Tonight, someone I love and respect immensely told me that he believes humans are inherently evil. That there could be millions of good people, but in the end, the evil, even if the minority, will always prevail. My response? “That is exactly what they want you to believe”.
I certainly do not fault him for his beliefs; I simply, yet emphatically, refuse to agree.
Author, neurologist, psychologist, and holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl once so wisely said:
“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
I think we all need to remember this quote today. WE choose how we respond to any given circumstance, especially one of such a heinous nature. The sick, twisted, heartless people who carry out these sorts of events do so because they want to hurt you. And not just physically hurt those directly involved, but emotionally hurt ALL of us That is why they attack our families, our babies, our celebratory moments, the things that matter the most to us. They want to bring us down to their hurting, angry level, to make us give up hope, and to make us believe that this world, and our fellow humans, are all doomed.
Don’t believe it, my friends, not for one second.
Today, I saw a lot of good. I saw people offer up shelter, rides, food, money, their own blood, and even risk their own safety to help others. I saw people run towards the explosions instead of away, to help those in need. I saw thousands of people trying to help others locate their loved ones or offer help via twitter and facebook. I smiled, genuinely smiled amidst all of this crap, when one friend in a social media group posted that he wanted to donate blood for the victims, and within minutes, the number of people chiming in “me too” , or “I’ll join you” exceeded the number of reported injured victims from today’s tragedy.
If you so choose to see it, if you choose to not let the evil prevail over the good, you will see that these wonderful acts of kindness truly do happen daily, and not just in times of chaos.
To quote comedian Patton Oswalt’s now viral facebook status update:
“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.'”
Please friends, please do not let this act of hatred and terror win. Tomorrow, do something good. Do something kind for a stranger. Tell someone you love them. Make a difference, no matter how big or small, in someone else’s life. Remind others that there is GOOD in this world. And by all means, GO FOR A RUN. Do not let this senseless act create fear surrounding a sport we all love so very much.
Go forward. Do something amazing. Enjoy this beautiful life we were blessed with. BE the good in this world we all so desperately need and want to see.
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.
Your post is so well-written. While I don’t have kids yet, I do fear about bringing them into the world today.
But you’re so right in everything you’ve said. It’s true, we would’ve been long gone by now if we were inherently evil. It brings hope that those of us who really do have good in our hearts, outnumber those with evil in theirs.
Running, Loving, Living
Well said. Amongst the tragedy yesterday I saw goodness. I saw people coming together to help one another. I saw strangers open up their homes and hearts to the runners that needed it. Good will prevail….
Frickin' Fabulous at 40
Linz @ Itz Linz
great post. we’ve got to believe that there is still GOOD in this world, and with all the bad there is, GOOD is still around. help make the GOOD by tiny actions and spreading the love yourself! xoxo
You are so right! Thanks.
Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean
so so true. the only thing we can always control is our own attitudes and reactions. i disagree with him as well. there’s too many good people out there for everyone to be inherently bad.
YES! Love the quote.
I, too, am incredibly pissed. Our running family was attacked and I take that personally.
I wasn’t there and my family wasn’t there but people just like me and families just like mine were.
It helped a little to see all of the helping heroes. The good guys always win.
I’m in tears over all these Boston posts this morning. Yours is so well written. I agree with you, evil cannot win if we don’t let it. I wrote my post today about how good always wins…I saw it yesterday on the news when people ran INTO the cloud of smoke to help those who had been injured. When it comes down to it, people are good.
Beautifully written… and SPOT on! Thank you…
I’ve seen this quote from Mr. Rogers all over facebook and just love it…
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”
I believe that even though this world is filled evil people, those who are good far out number those who are evil!
Very well written. Today is only my second day of running, and I will be running with a group in honor of those involved in the Boston Marathon. And yes, good always prevails.
Thank you. Your thoughts and emotions sum up so much how I feel about this tragedy. My husband said this event made him so angry and upset because based on the race clock he would have been there, at the finish, as he has been numerous times before..with our three little boys cheering on their mom. It’s just unbelievable and heartbreaking. Hug those you love and thank others for their kindness.
Exactly. This tragedy will not tarnish running and racing for the majority… but “As a mother, I question what kind of world I brought two wonderfully perfect little lives into, and I fear for their future, and the heartache they will likely one day witness.” I relate so much to this. I have a choice… I can keep myself in a bubble or put myself out there in the world to experience the good prevailing… at the low risk of something tragic happening… that is my choice. BUT for my children… I can only make that choice for them for so long… then they get to make it on their own – and that thought paralyzes me.
So well said. In the end Good will always prevail. So thankful I have running and the running community!
Ja @Ja on the RUN
Well said. It’s better to focus on the compassion of people amidst the tragedy. 🙂