Today’s bombing at the Boston Marathon has left us all reeling. As I write this we still don’t know who is responsible for this heinous act. We sit, glued to the television wanting to hear more, filled with dread, fear, and sadness. What I am noticing though, as I talk to friends and watch the Facebook posts, is that as we wait to hear what brand of crazy brought us this latest insanity, we are focusing on goodness. On those runners who, after finishing their 26 miles, continued running to the nearest hospital to give blood to victims. Of the residents of Boston who opened their homes to the many displaced visitors whose hotels were evacuated in a city already filled to the brim by this iconic event. Of all the people that ran into the fray to help victims, remove debris and provide calm. Facebook is filled with messages from around the world of people offering prayers, support and hope.
One of the posts that I have seen shared again and again, one which I posted as well, was from children’s television icon Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers of the cardigan sweater. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
NAI is filled with helpers, with first responders, with emergency service volunteers, with damn fine people of the kind that run in to help while others run away. I am thinking of you tonight. I am thinking of the people of Boston, who are going to bed feeling anxious, of all of us who are waiting for the other shoe to drop as we learn more. I hope we continue focusing on the good and the positive. I hope as we learn that which is likely to fill us with anger that we also remember that the world is filled with helpers and that there are many more of them than there are bad guys.
I am also reminded of the end quote from one of my favorite movies, Love Actually.
“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”
I agree. And in times like these, it’s worth remembering.
Amy Lethbridge, President, NAI