This week I’ve been saddened for the people impacted by the attack in Boston, like most Americans have. I’ve prayed for them, and included a friend who was there with her family cheering her husband on in those prayers. (Thankfully they were already at their hotel when the explosions happened.)
I watched news that night, saw replays of the explosions, heard stories of those injured or killed, and saw interviews with heroes who did their job bravely.
But I tend to go against the grain on a lot of things, and this is no different. I keep thinking that though this is a tragic event and it deserves our prayer and thoughts, I don’t understand the obsession that seems to be there. Now, I’m not talking about those who were there and have the physical and/or emotional scars of such an event. I’m talking about those of us sitting in our living rooms and on our computers who have no real connection besides the constant media stream.
Three people lost their lives, and many others have severe injuries. But why aren’t we so taken with the stories of the hospitals in Pakistan filled with survivors of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake this week, that left at least 35 dead. Why aren’t we so taken with the number of children lost across the world to starvation, an estimated 288 million this week alone. Why aren’t we so taken by the estimated 14,000 people who have been reported in the U.S. this week alone.
My point is simply that there are even greater tragedies around us every single day, and when we let one tragedy consume us, we can neglect to do what we truly can and truly need to do.
We seem trained to focus on what media makes ‘the big story’ and gets thousands of hours of air time- because of their unexpected nature, or because of our shock that this could happen to us.
We are asked to give to these major disasters, and as Americans we do an amazing job of that. But I’ve also seen that we can become so immune to the constant hurt around us that we do nothing, when the need there is so much greater.
I know that I don’t do enough, give enough, pray enough or respond enough. I also know that neither you or I can ever really do enough, give enough, pray enough or respond enough. We have to find the areas and issues that we can be passionate about and have an impact on. But that can’t be by responding just once or twice a year to a plea on television to text a donation in. It’s simple, it’s good, but it’s not enough.
Did you know that an estimated 70% of the Boston Marathoners were raising money for a cause they believed in? That’s a big story. The true big stories are of those who are doing and giving and responding when no one is watching, or they don’t know they’re being watched. Boston was full of those people, from runners raising money to those who ran in as others ran out, and those who are still caring for the injured and grieving. Our country is full of those people, who adopt children no one else cares to, who fight to rescue slaves, who search for people in places no one else will brave. Our world is full of those people, who risk their lives to even speak against oppression, who care for the discarded ill, who love the unlovable.
When I look back on the week, I’m saddened by the hate that caused such an attack, and I’m disenchanted by the attention given when so much that needs our focus is ignored. But more than anything, I’m encouraged and uplifted by remembering that in any disaster happening any day in any part of the world, if you look past the pain, you’ll find heroes.
Thank you to each of you who are heroes every day, in your way in your world.
And for those who want to help support some heroes I know- a Florida based Search and Rescue team who spends their own money to train and travel for searches- I would ask you to consider a donation of $10 in exchange for a 12oz bag of local fresh roasted gourmet coffee from Lucky Goat Coffee. You can send $10 through Paypal as a gift to email@example.com and indicate if you would like whole bean or ground, and which of these delish flavors: Breakfast Blend, Columbian, Cinnamon Crunch, Southern Pecan, Moose Tracks, Decaf, Jamaican Island, French Roast, Vanilla Nut, Guatemalan.
If you aren’t local, please add $3 for shipping and indicate where to ship to. Or, consider sending $10 and choosing to send the coffee to the team, to help fuel those early morning searches.