Like every sane and rational person, I'm horrified by yesterday's events at the Boston Marathon. My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones.
At the risk of making everybody think I'm a degenerate, I can't help but also feel badly for the person or people responsible for this tragedy. I mean, how incredibly messed up and hurting must a person be to do something like this? What happened to drive them to inflict so much suffering on others?
I'm not saying they shouldn't be punished - they absolutely should be prosecuted to the furllestt extent of the law. And I'm NOT making excuses for them. What they did is heinous.
It's just that whenever these things happen, I can't help wondering how many tragedies could have been avoided if somebody had recognized and/or helped the bomber/shooter get the professional help they clearly needed.
Given the primitive nature of the bombs, I have a terrible feeling this particular tragedy was the work of someone young and probably very abused and emotionally isolated. Even if they weren't young, history shows us these sorts of crimes are usually committed by people who were abused enough to make them emotionally disconnect from the world - which is what allows (perhaps even drives) them to take such action.
I don't know what the answer is, but it grieves me that hurt begets hurt.
And none of us seems to know how to recognize or heal the originating pain before it unleashes itself on society in general, creating exponential pain.
After these kinds of events, you always see and hear people attempting to help - they send money, donate blood, etc. And this is ALL GOOD. But sometimes I wonder if this isn't putting a bandaid on a slashed artery. Look around you - do you see somebody who's in pain? Do you see a parent who's overwhelmed and taking it out on her kid? Do you have some time to donate to the Big Sisters and Big Brothers? Or any organization that helps people get back on their feet? Can you go to your nearest hospital and volunteer to hold babies who were born addicted to crack?
We never know the full reach of our actions. We can only hope that every good deed will multiply. If only 5% of us made one more caring gesture once a week, how much good would be done? And can that good not exponentially multiply?
Just do it.
Do something decent today.
Be the change you want to see.