Heartbeats for Boston and Beyond

by P. Braithwaite

I, like most of others, was devastated by the events that unfolded during the Boston Marathon. As a runner, one who traveled from NY to Philadelphia to run a half marathon for charity, I immediately thought of the innocent people who tied shoelaces that morning in an effort to achieve their dreams, express their personal passions, or meet a life-long goal. It is devestating and uncomfortable to imagine.

I recently came across the picture below on Facebook. It’s from an organization called Muslim Peacemaker Team, an international organization of peacemakers working together in Iraq. Though there’s debate over whether these children are Iraqi or Palestinian, the picture is very very powerful.

We are ALL members of the human race. We are all citizens of planet Earth.

Tragedy opens our heart. Despite our differences, when bad things happen we immediately connect. We tap into the humanity of the immediate events, but often we don’t take moments to connect the singular event to the ceaseless web of universal horror. Horrible shit happens every single day, and we should cry for all injustice the way we did for Boston.

Every explosion and attack should result in outrage, but it doesn’t. Not always. I’m guilt of this too…

If I have one wish, it is for this senseless violence that occurred in Boston to connect us to the outrage of tragedies carried out around the world –– to the tragedies carried out in Iraq. Just as we can mourn for those runners whose lives have forever been changed, let us also connect to all innocent people plagued by violence around the world. Our languages may be different, our cultures may even clash, but there is no exchange rate for bloodshed. Every single life is inherently equal. Every life lost to violence…is a tragedy and should be mourned.

May God be with us all.

20130418-000552.jpg (credit: Muslim Peacemaker Team)