Looking for compassion, gratitude, and sameness in tragedy…
When I first looked at the news footage of the Boston Marathon Bombing, I felt absolutely sick. It was surreal. While so many people were aiming to achieve their personal best, others seem to have sunken to a personal worst. It’s hard not to feel anger when you are looking square in the eyes of malicious intent.
But after a week or so, I witnessed miracles. While watching the story evolve, and looking at the same footage – again and again and again – I began to see humanity in its best form. I saw people stop, as though programmed with goodness. They literally ran into the ground zero of the marathon bombing site. Regardless if they were trained professionals or not, I came to realize that they all clearly had one thing on their minds – to HELP OTHERS!
There is something in me, as a person and as a therapist, which absolutely melts when I am lucky enough to witness the dynamic spirit that rises up in individuals, and goes nose to nose against adversity! In conversations with others, a constant question I had was “What is it exactly that makes one person run away from the a metaphoric “ground zero” and another run directly towards the heart of it?” Where does that instinct of immediate courage and desire to help come from?
Boomerang from Tragedy
Time and time again, in current events, in natural disasters, in 9/11 and in tragedies of all kinds, I have witnessed an “equally proportionate or greater” boomerang of SAMENESS, COMPASSION & GRATITUDE. These forces seem to well up in us and spread like wild fire throughout our towns, clubs, businesses, countries and often, the entire world when others are facing tragedy, adversity or ill will. It’s as though a raw nerve (our heart) ignites our absolute core. It disarms any separateness, personal barriers, conflict and prejudice, so that we can unite. It causes us each to immediately distill our priorities down to our most natural common denominator – “human beings that desire to survive” – and in the process unveils our most precious and miraculous gifts of humanity. Boston Marathon Bombing Miracles are seen in the overwhelming flood of SAMENESS, COMPASSION, GRATITUDE for people having each other and helping each other through strife.
We see what we choose to believe, and we must be not to believe everything that we see. We all have choices. If we feel the world is an unsafe place full of tragedy and hate, that’s predominately what we will see. If we believe the world is full of wonder, grace and decency, than even in the face of adversity – THAT is predominately what we will see. This is how we can start to transform destructive anger, resentment and hatred into something that is actually meaningful, healthy and productive. The point of all life experiences are to help us become better people, not bitter people!
Watch for It!
When you are watching the news footage tonight, please look for the Boston Marathon Bombing Miracles in the middle of the madness! Serve the memory of those who died or were injured. Remember those who served by helping the legacy of this event be about what matters most in life: Human goodness and LOVE!
Better yet, can we ask ourselves if we really want to wait for the next disaster to choose to connect to this compassion, gratitude and sameness in our everyday lives?