The enduring image of yesterday's bombing speaks volumes more than my fingers could ever type.
The bomb blasts took place at the finish line of a grueling event for most -- an achievement by any measure -- against the backdrop of national flags representing the many participating countries in the event.
To a large extent, it doesn't matter who or what agenda and ideology is behind this incredible act of violence; the damage is done. The enduring backdrop of the attack, however, couldn't paint a clearer picture of what terrorism is truly about: attacking the very essence of what defines us as human beings.
I believe that the human species couldn't be better defined than through the large, overarching tropes of achievement and community. We began as individuals, and merged into tribes, then nations, then a global community connected by technology and commerce, and ultimately, if evolution wins over terror, a truly interconnected global community.
And it wasn't without achievement that this community emerged. Achievements on both the sides of technology and humanity -- of the enduring human spirit and drive to simply do more: the Internet, vaccines, space travel, The Olympics. The list goes on and on. Achievement, contribution, progress -- call it what you will, is the hub of the wheel of community.
Nothing defines the human experience more than achievement and community; and both were violently attacked yesterday. If 9/11 didn't accurately paint this picture, the image of bomb smoke set against the flags of many nations preceding a finish line did.
Terrorism, at its root, plays a polarity to the essence of life. If life's defining themes are achievement and community, terrorism's are destruction and fragmentation.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
And without having this thought in mind, we saw the essence of humanity emerge immediately from the billowy darkness of bomb smoke: first responders running towards the blast site. The primal instinct to create, and not destroy, the primal instinct of community.
We cannot let yesterday's attack, an assault on the essence of the human spirit, create within us fragmentation and destruction. We must continue to achieve. We must continue to come together. We must continue to be not runners, not Bostonians, and not Americans. We must continue to be the light, to love, to be...humans.
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