I was in Boston this last Sunday and barely made it to the airport in time for my flight…the last one to leave Logan International to Denver. I was literally minutes away from being stranded but thought, on the bright side, if I did get stuck there, I would at least be able to watch some of the Boston Marathon. I did make my flight and was safely at home when the first reports of the bombing came trickling in. I read the stories, stunned and heartbroken, grateful that I made that flight and saddened for those whose lives were shattered with that explosion. I asked myself the same questions I asked after Columbine and after the Aurora movie theater shooting; “what is wrong with people” and “what makes people do such horrible things” and I wept for the suffering, the dead, the mourning and the loss of humanity.
Yet, I still believe. I still believe that people are inherently good and that if they are given the right conditions, people will grow to fulfill their highest potential. I still believe that, at the core, people can become their best selves. I believe that there is hope for humanity and that maybe someday; we will see that hope fulfilled. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, we have all been fortunate to bear witness to the best of humanity. We have seen photos immediately after the bomb went off where chaos has broken out and people are fleeing the scene in terror while the first responders run toward the explosion. We have seen photos of strangers helping strangers, covered in each other’s blood and tears. We have heard of people taking off their belts to make tourniquets to help stop the bleeding stranger. Boston area blood banks have been flooded with donors. We have cried with those grieving and celebrated with those who have been reunited with their loved ones. Runners have dedicated today’s trek to the Boston Marathon and have run their miles with heavy hearts and tear stained cheeks. We have come together as a community and have locked arms in support of those who are hurting.
This is why I believe in humanity. In the face of tragedy, there have been tremendous acts of courage, valor, compassion, solidarity, and an overall showing of the best of humanity. Although there are incomprehensible acts of terror and even evil, those acts are often outshined by the outpouring of love, courage and support that these acts of terror generate. I believe in humanity. I have witnessed the best of humanity overshadow the worst of humanity this week. There is hope for humanity and when we lay aside our differences, we are all the same. While smoke and dust swirled around, and people were lying wounded, the things that usually divide were irrelevant. There were no political lines to divide and no religious bridges to cross; there were simply human beings who reached out to help each other. It is that piece of humanity that I call out to, that I believe in, that I will continue to work for the rest of my days. We all have a choice in these following days. We can choose to go back to life as usual and let this become a memory or we can choose to continue to carry the momentum forward. Let us not waste this suffering and become bitter, but let us become more loving, more compassionate and make this world better.
— Lisa Vallejos