Tag Archive: Philosophy

Apr 16

Light and Darkness and the Boston Marathon Explosions

I spent most of the day watching TED Talks with the tag “Inspiring.”  For those of you who don’t know, TED is a convention of some of the smartest people in the world from a variety of fields that get together to share ideas on how to change and better the world.  And I was listening to the talks that were voted to be the most inspiring things on the TED website.  These ideas, these speakers are revolutionizing the world on a daily basis, and one day I dream of being able to make that sort of impact with my life.

And then:

Photo credit: theblaze.com

 

I don’t know what it is about today…usually I’m just as unaffected as the next person by the tragedy of the moment.  Yes, these school shootings are sad but it wasn’t my brother or sister.  And yes the wars are awful but I have no family in the military and very few friends and most of them are stationed in the states anyways.  And yes it is mortifying that thousands of children die everyday from diarrhea, a problem we don’t even think about in the West.  But they don’t hit my heart.  These things are intellectually sad.

And that’s how I should feel about the Boston Marathon explosions.  I only have a few friends in Boston, and they’re all fine.  I’ve never been there, and it is over 1,000 miles away from where I’m sitting, typing up this blog post.  But something about this has hit me hard, and like a ghoul, I can’t stop looking at the photos or watching the cell phone videos.  I can’t stop reading the live updated news stories.  I can’t stop myself because I want this to make sense, and it doesn’t, and it’s never going to.

Terrorism (which is what this is, whether it proves to be domestic or international) is meant to be demoralizing.  It’s meant to scare and shock people into submission, but I know this won’t change me.  I know that we as a society will stand and be stronger because of this.  I know that we will create better futures in spite of this.  I know that there will be a Boston Marathon next year in spite of this.  I know that many of the injured will make full recoveries in spite of this.  I know that those who tragically died will be honored by their families and remembered by their communities.  I know that there will be more and more and more because there is nothing within people except the ability and the capacity and the overwhelming impetus to bring forth light.  And I know that we will not be cowed by this in any way.

I know this, but I am so sad.  I am writing this with tears in my eyes because while I know the light will always conquer the dark, it mystifies me that people succumb to these dark impulses.  It stuns me that someone would seek to put the dust of an explosion over such a bright day.  The dust is going to settle, and the sun will still shine, but what happened that made this happen at all?  Why are so many interested in tearing down, when building is so much better?

We all do it in our little ways.  We don’t say good morning to the person at the office we don’t care for, and we let our bad moods infect all of those around us.  We rejoice in the shortcomings of those we don’t like, and we are not charitable enough in spirit and word.  And while none of these things measure up to the tragedy of today, remember that we each get to decide whether to bring forth light or darkness everyday.

Yes, the light will always conquer the dark; I believe this will all my soul.  But we could all produce a little less darkness, and as a whole, inspire and lift up humanity.  We are a human team.  And I’m going to fight for us.

‘Til next time,

-JMF