And not just fear. Anger, sadness, uncertainty, worry…I felt them all yesterday, and I guess I’m still feeling them today, along with a bit of nauseating nostalgia. As the insanity behind the bombing at the Boston Marathon unfolded yesterday, I had an uncomfortable flashback to a sunny, cloudless Tuesday morning in September, 2001.
Immediately of course, my Facebook and Twitter feeds (you can follow me @ratfink) lit up with reports, updates, and expressions of support and sympathy. There was also an overriding sense of weary grief. And while the mayor of Boston encouraged his people by saying that shutting down their lives right now just gives the bad guys a victory, I’m sure it was next to impossible for some to carry on.
I saw a graphic on Facebook that contained a quote that I’d seen in a television interview years ago. Someone asked Fred “Mr.” Rogers — a man I have admired for decades — what he says to children when they see tragedies on TV and in person. Here’s what he said:
I’d like to salute those helpers today; people who didn’t turn and run, like all of us are hard-wired to do. They stayed and they helped, not knowing if another explosion would turn them from rescuer to victim.
There were people from dozens of countries in Boston yesterday, and many got to see those helpers in action. It’s the single good thing we can pull from this.