Yesterday as I was leaving work, I ran into a coworker, a quintessential Boston guy, with whom I very rarely interact.
"Ugly day in the city," he said.
A marathon, especially the Boston Marathon, represents a lot of what is great about humanity. Marathon runners show that people can push themselves to achieve any goal, no matter how seemingly ridiculous. They underscore the value of doing something that seems impossible because it seems impossible. It's really something to behold, watching people run what would be an hour's drive in Massachusetts traffic. Marathon runners are extremely admirable humans.
And then there are the spectators: people who don't even know these runners, just there to witness their accomplishments, give them orange slices and water, and tell the runners how impressive they are. Marathons show how much we take care of each other. These are some of the best stranger-to-stranger interactions that one can imagine.
Marathons are places where people trust strangers. We're all supposed to rely on each other when things like this are happening. We're not supposed to be afraid.
So let's decide not to be afraid. Let's all agree that living our lives exactly how we want to live them, being free from fear, is MUCH better than safety with paranoia.
Because ultimately, this isn't about you or me. Scores and scores of people's lives will never be the same, and three people's lives ended. Let's help to heal those wounds as best we can, and live our lives the way we want to live them. Because just like marathons show us, we take care of each other, and we persevere through things that seem impossible.
That ugly day in the city is over. It's just one ugly day, and it's over. It's 60 and sunny out there. April 16th, 2013 is a beautiful day in the city.