As the horrific images and details continue to emerge from Boston, millions are struggling with how to wrap our heads around such senseless brutality, such blind disregard for human life. Most of us have become numb to daily bombings in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, to indiscriminate death and destruction around the world. That's "over there."
Today, Boylston Street might as well be Main Street in any city in America. And the Boston Marathon might as well be our local Little League tournament. Or the county fair. Or prom. As with 9/11, this feels intensely personal. This is here. This is home. In the relentless video loops, we see ourselves in the faces of survivors: scared, bewildered, bloody.
We like to think of ourselves as a nation of doers, of action-takers. But at this writing, barely 14 hours after the bombs ripped through the crowds, we don't know who is responsible. Domestic or foreign? Individual or group? No clue. Let's hope that we find out soon, that the perpetrators are brought to justice, and that we'll learn to better prevent such attacks in the future.
But what do we do now, for God's sake? How do we wake to a new day and move forward? What do we say to ourselves, to each other, to our children?
Sadly, no explanation can make sense of this mindless devastation. Nonetheless, there are some things we can do to take care of ourselves and to take care of each other.
- We can recognize that this kind of event often taps memories of past losses, previous experiences of violence, other ways that we feel unsafe or insecure about life. We can give ourselves the space to be upset and the time necessary to reestablish equilibrium.
This is a blow to us all about how fragile life can be. But we are a resilient lot. You'll get through this. We all will. Together.
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