I had another post scheduled for today, but in light of the events in Boston I’m going to hold it for later.
Whoever did this wants to divide and destroy. Not just buildings or cities, not just flesh and blood, but they want to destroy the ideas that hold us together. They would have trust replaced with suspicion, community replaced with isolation.
And you may be afraid. You may wonder next time you’re in a crowd, “How close am I to the bomb?” When you see someone who’s dressed differently than you, you might want to push them away instead of listening to who they are. You might look differently at anyone with a backpack or oddly-shaped duffel.
And that’s understandable. The lack of fear is not courage–the lack of fear is mental illness.
What is courageous is choosing not to act on that fear.
We can take many steps to keep such tragedies from happening again. We can initiate random searches, wiretap phones, build surveillance drones, and post armed guards in every school in America. We can even make you take your shoes off in the airport and fill transparent plastic baggies with miniature tubes of toothpaste whenever you fly.
But none of those things will keep you from being hit by a bus. Or falling off a ladder. Or misreading a label and overdosing on your prescription medication.
You’re looking for safety? There is no safety. Death will come for you when he damn well pleases.
The only solution is to live life with such intensity that–should a maniac fill a trash can in Boston with ball bearings and a block of homemade dynamite–we can leave it knowing that we lived every last drop. Be AWAKE while you live, so that you can leave your life with a fond backwards smile instead of a hash of broken could-have-beens.
If you can do that, then death has no power over you. Terror has no power over you.
And there is no need to be afraid.