Details are still hazy in regards to yesterday's horrifying explosions during the Boston Marathon and while facts remain unclear, it's easy to let your anger and your imagination get away from you. Twitter, Facebook feeds and real life dinner tables are alive with discussions of who's to blame for what and, for the most part, these conversations are not productive. If anything, they tend to breed fear and an even bigger sense of uncertainty. So instead, let's focus on what we do know about yesterday: One person (maybe a small group of people) committed a devastating and violent act; countless people responded to that act with courage, heroism and kindness. That ratio isn't to be discounted.
As Patton Oswalt pointed out in his well-circulated Facebook missive, "You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out." The first responders acted quickly and effectively, marathon runners who were not injured continued to run past the finish line and to the hospital in order to give blood. Boston residents were offering up food and a living rooms for runners and spectators who didn't have a place to go.
Esther Zuckerman at the Atlantic Wire created a roundup of tweets and Instagram photos from those giving and receiving help and she had plenty to work with.
A show of solidarity projected on the wall of the Brooklyn Art Museum:
And a Google document offering up places to stay for those in Boston who need it.
Even on a smaller scale, I've been seeing more people respond with concern and consideration than I have with knee-jerk reactions. For every "They're totally gonna find out that this was a crazy white gun nut" or "why are we letting Arabs into this country" that appears on my Facebook wall (for the record, there have only been one of each), there have been at least 15 postings from people wanting to know that their loved ones in Boston are okay and expressing worry for the people — the strangers — who are not. This love is real and tangible and it serves us well not to forget it.
Stories of Kindness After the Bombing [The Atlantic Wire]