Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Terrorism Will Not Win

Like many of you, I'm glued to the news coverage of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Some of the things that have been said resonate deeply with me while others are jarring.

Time and time again, I've heard it spoken that this bombing could have been so much worse. Logically, I understand that statement. Emotionally, I find it very painful. For the three that died in yesterday's attack, for their families, it could not have been any worse. For the parents and siblings of 8 year old Martin Richard, nothing could be worse than the death of their son, right before their eyes.

My heart is sick with grief and I've spent much of the hours since the bombing in prayer. The image of the woman on her knees with her hands clasped in prayer even as tears run down her face is one of those snapshot moments that will remain with me forever.

Another such image is that of a man comforting an obviously injured woman. I don't know if they know each other or if they were total strangers before this. I do know they share a powerful connection now that will never be broken.

The image of a child being taken for medical care haunts me. This innocent child is so small, seated in an adult sized wheelchair and being pushed by a Boston police officer. The things this little man witnessed yesterday will remain with him for the rest of his life. He now knows monsters are real.

As adults, we've known for a long time that monsters don't hide in the closet. They hide behind political views. They use religion as a shield. They flaunt their beliefs as a right and a reason to inflict damage and pain on anyone they can reach. To such people, I have nothing to say. They are unworthy of my words, my time or my attention.

Most of us don't know how to help authorities find and prosecute those who set those bombs, be they a foreign political group or home-grown fanatic. I believe that everything we do and say in magnified in the world and impacts everyone. Every bit of nastiness, every bit of disappointment, every bit of every emotion we have, bleeds into and colors the world in which we all live. With this belief, the way we conduct ourselves following an attack like this has a huge impact.

A woman named Rebecca Kaduce, a woman I am proud to call friend, has a Facebook page entitled Be Kind, Change a Life. On this page, Rebecca recounts the random acts of kindness she and her family do as a way to celebrate her birthday. It didn't take long for her to learn that while she may be dong kindness for others, it is she who is reaping the most reward from her behavior. Do me a favor and reread that last sentence, would you? I honestly and deeply believe that every little bit of emotion we put into the world has a tremendous impact. With Rebecca putting forth intentional behavior to help others, she is the one being rewarded.

As many things do, Rebecca's choices are catching on. Her page is filled with others recounting their
own acts of kindness. Everyone on the page supports and encourage one another to continue sharing ideas and applauding the efforts of anyone who is being kind. There are stories of people helping pay for a meal when the couple in line in front of them didn't have quite enough to pay for their food.
There are pictures of quarters taped to laundry detergent which Rebecca and her son then left in a laundromat so the recipient could enjoy a load of laundry for free. There are posts about picking up trash, waving someone through in the drop off lane of the high school or making a meal for a local shelter. Each of these acts bleed into and color the world, also. So don't stare at the news coverage, wringing your hands and wondering what the world is coming to and feeling hopeless. Go forward in a loving spirit. Be kind in every situation. Choose to be a blessing to those you come in contact with so your behavior bleeds into the world, coloring and covering and discounting the terrorism of yesterdays bombing.

Say your prayers, kiss your family and make the decision to be nice in all things. By doing so, terrorism will not win.

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