Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Lesson from Boston

The bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line shocked the world once again, and so soon after the school shootings in Sandy Hook. I’ve lived through other violence—assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, the killing of John Lennon, the Oklahoma bombing, the Twin Towers assault. It’s tempting to look at the darkness and feel despair. But there’s another option.

One blogger noted that more people were running toward yesterday’s mayhem than away from it. Citizens took off shirts to use as tourniquets. No one worried about getting hands dirty with someone else’s blood. The immediate response of most people nearby was to help.

In four years of hosting guests in our treehouse nearly every weekend, we have not had a single negative experience. We’ve hosted Jews, Muslims and devout Christians, white and black Africans, Chinese and Japanese, gays and straights, an ex-convict, and a firefighter who had just come from honoring his fellow firefighters at the tenth anniversary ceremony of 9-11 in New York. No one asks who has previously slept in the loft thirty feet off the ground. Each visitor treats H and me with respect and courtesy.

The lesson I learned from the Boston tragedy is that in spite of a very few maniacs with twisted minds, there is more good than evil in the world. There was enough light yesterday to illuminate the darkness.