Friday, May 3, 2013

What I Know

There are events in the news that you cannot turn your eyes away from and last week was certainly one of those times. Between the bombing in Boston and the explosion in Texas I watched the news with a heavy heart, some fear and, in the case of the Boston bombings, disgust. Both of these tragedies grabbed my attention and my thoughts. The most prevailing thought I had was “why do things like this happen”.
The more I thought about why these horrific events happened the more I realized I did not know. The people killed in Boston Marathon were all innocent, the MIT policeman was doing his job and in Texas the firemen rushed in without a moment’s thought about their safety. In times like this I get comfort from thinking about the things I do know versus the questions that are unanswerable.
So here is what I know. I know that 99.99% of all of my fellow humans are good and decent. They simply want to live their lives, spend time with their friends and families and do what makes them happy. I truly believe that no matter our ethnicity, education, economic status, occupation or age; most of us are the same at our core.
I also know that people who are good at their core can do very bad things. I know that temptation and evil are all around us. We are all tempted, but fortunately most of us never give in to that temptation, why good people do bad deeds and why bad things happen to good people are two questions I do not even try to answer.
I know that the only religion I really know is Christianity, but I know enough about the other main stream religions to know that none of them preach hate and violence. I know that anyone who teaches hate and violence as part of their religion is not practicing that religion. The one thing I know for sure is that my faith tells me to love my neighbor and that is the farthest thing from hate and violence.
I also know that in the coming weeks and months we will analyze both of these events to death, we will listen to experts give their opinions. In the end we will not really know why either of these events happened. Oh sure, we might know how they happened, the timelines and the logistics but we will not truly understand why they happened.
However, I know that we will rise up from these events, more determined and with a new inspiration to make the world a better place. I marveled at the crowds in Boston singing the National Anthem and the show of support that came from every direction.
 Just this morning I saw an interview with the man who found the second terror suspect. His boat had been destroyed in the shootout and capture of the suspect. From what I understand that boat was his pride and joy. I have seen the efforts to raise money to buy him a new boat and the reporter asked him about the efforts.
His response was that he wanted the money to go to the victims of the bombing, many who had lost limbs. After all, he said, I just lost a boat. That is the core goodness that 99.99% of all of us possess. In times of crisis or need we are more worried about the other person than ourselves. There were many other similar stories of people coming to the rescue of the injured without a second thought of their own safety.
I know there will be stories like this that come out of the explosion in Texas. I am also sure that the town will pull itself up and rebuild with the help of many caring people. I do worry that the dramatic events in Boston have overshadowed what happened in Texas. However, I know that good people are doing what they can and will continue to care for those affected.
Finally, after all of the tragedy we all saw I know that we will come together and we will be stronger because of these events. I know these events will make us more vigilant and determined. Most of all, I know we are blessed beyond comprehension to live in this great nation, have the opportunities we all share and the freedoms we all cherish. That is what I know and that is why I focus on the known instead of the unknown.

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