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Reflections on the Boston Marathon bombing, one week out

16 August 2015

From April 20, 2013

. . .

Several people have reacted to the events of this week as though the world has been turned upside down. Forgive me for not sharing this sentiment. My world went upside-down on March 6, and hasn’t yet completely righted itself.

I was encouraged to see the immediate, broad-based social support for the victims of Monday’s attack and its aftermath, the galvanized we-shall-not-be-moved spirit for the city of Boston, from its citizens and thousands of compassionate onlookers. Now that the manhunt is over and the rebuilding must begin, I hope with all my being to see an equally supportive national movement for healing in all our communities.

I want to see the energy that drove individuals to reach out and check in with distant friends, ex-girlfriends, and all manner of family, now channeled into a routine and consistent system of support for everyone who belongs to us.

I want to see some kind of national commitment that we will talk about what it looks like when someone’s brain is sick with the same rational detachment we use to talk about what it looks like when their heart or lungs or internal organs are sick.

I want to see a deep and intentional look into the factors that make communities strong, and then a series of rational and meaningful action steps to keep individuals connected in their schools, their cities, our nation.

I want to see a powerful, nationwide fight against the insidious disease that kills Native teenagers on reservations, GLBT youth in cities and towns, depressed young men, rape survivors, young soldiers, trauma victims, and which took my beautiful, amazing cousin from this world over a month ago.

I want to see us rise to identify, understand, and combat the forces that turn individuals like Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and now perhaps Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, from scared, alienated children into mass murderers. With as much energy as we condemn and prosecute the behavior, let us see the people behind it and become a stronger nation as a result.

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