I wanted to bring the funny this week, but I’m having a hard time with that.
I felt like I wanted to say something about the horrific violence this week but also felt like one more missive about it wasn’t going to necessarily help anyone.
But, it’s kind of like listening to really sad songs after a bad breakup. I kind of want to wallow for a while. It seems appropriate.
When senseless violence happens on any scale, it confounds me. I find myself walking around in a general state of confusion. There is also sadness, anger, sympathy. But for me the overwhelming emotion is confusion.
With the events this week, I’m feeling all the more confused. This one feels different to me than some of the other horrific events we’ve been through. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a runner myself. Maybe it’s that I have friends who have run the Boston Marathon in the past. Maybe it’s that I’ve been to tons of events just like this one, sharing in the camaraderie and excitement of the crowd.
But, I think at it’s core, this one confuses me because it was a day of joy and community that was targeted. It was a day of great accomplishment for so many, with friends and family there to support and love these runners who had trained hard and made this, the most prestigious foot race in the country, a goal. For many, just making it to the Boston Marathon was a huge goal met. To run it and finish could be a life-changing accomplishment.
I am of the thought that people are wired to be inherently good. That given a choice, humans will choose to be empathetic, to help, to connect, to care about each other. Every clip and news story I see supports that when you see the number of people running toward the danger to help others stuck in the midst of it.
So, what was the message that these broken people wanted to send? What could only be said by the deaths of children and the disablement of such able bodies? I can’t imagine, even for a moment.
But, I also know that we can’t imagine it because we are not them. We understand the immeasurable value of human life, family, community, altruism.
Violence doesn’t understand the value of anything but violence.
So, how can we ever understand in order to stop the feelings of confusion? We can’t.
And, for that I am actually grateful. Because as long as we’re confused, I know we will never understand. And if we never understand, we don’t run the risk of being them. Ever. Not for a moment.
So, this is a confusion I will choose to embrace.