Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Aftermath: Building Communities of Peace and Love

Yesterday as my family drove back to our home in the Boston area from a weekend trip, we listened intently to the news related to the Boston Marathon tragedy. As Massachusetts' residents the Marathon has always been a signature event on the calendar.  Friends, family members and neighbors have run the Marathon over the years, and we've spent time along the sidelines cheering for them.

At first, we felt an anxious sadness as we listened to the news reports.  We worried about friends and family members wondering if we would know any of those hurt by this event.  Today, the sadness turned to anger. Why do people spend time planning, working and carrying out plans to hurt others? How could anyone focus their efforts on killing people and wrecking a positive, happy event?  Now many are contributing substantial time, effort, money and tears to clean up the mess, investigate the crime and heal the physical and emotional wounds--time, effort and money that could be spent on bettering lives, neighborhoods and schools.

My heart breaks for the Dorchester family and so many more who have experienced the loss of a loved one, pain and suffering.  I am also sad for those whose dreams were dashed after months of planning and preparing for the Marathon run. How does one react to senseless acts of hate and violence like this one?

For the time being, those like me who are removed from the situation can contribute by working to build more peaceful and loving communities. We can do this by looking for ways to lift our practice, effort and direction to that which serves to better what we do each day.  We can also work to support positive agencies of change, safety and healing--organizations that work to react to and rid our world of these kinds of criminal acts. Yesterday's Boston Marathon tragedy will stay with us for decades to come, and hopefully we can use this sad memory to energize our collective efforts towards greater good and care. This is one way that we can honor the lives of those who died and those who still suffer.