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.