Walk In Peace


So I was thinking about my post yesterday about the horror of the Boston Marathon and about what I wrote as humans having the natural tendency to gather in groups. That from prehistoric times, this is something we did as hunter-gatherers and this instinct has carried on into modern times. It’s part of what makes us human. This behavior, but also speech and the desire to worship and have religions, are some of the main things that make us different from ‘animals’.

I thought about how our ‘right’ to gather in groups or assemble, is being threatened now by other humans. And how we consider this a ‘right’ because it’s actually in our U.S. Constitution as a first amendment right.  The right to assemble, just like freedom of speech and religion. 

And I thought: isn’t that interesting? That our forefathers took the pieces that make us human and created laws to protect those parts! Because speech and religion is specific to us (or at least in the sense that we think of it). Even the right to bear arms! Only we have weapons! Animals may have crude tools, but not weapons. And we must have a special law to protect this ‘right’ also. Now look how having these weapons are coming around full cycle. They protect and harm at the same time. 

Sure there are many, many laws. And some maybe would intersect with the animal kingdom I suppose. (Like animals have territory). But it seems that the most important ones that we put on the top of the list are specific to us. The ones we hold most dear and fight for most passionately! I am human: let me speak, let me assemble, let me pray!  These are my rights. This makes me who I am and it is the law. 

As these things are now being taken by terrorists–every time a bomb goes off during a speech, or in a church, or a marathon, we lose a bit of our humanness. And each time that collective connection that binds us together seems to become more fragile.

Hope is another thing that makes us human. We cling to it desperately. Amidst the tears, the smoke and blood we can continue to hope for a better world. A world where what our forefathers created for us in our U.S. Constitution can be embraced by every citizen without fear. And that a new day will come where we all walk in peace. 

 

 

The Way Of The Dinosaurs


As I sit here in my bedroom in the wake of yet another tragic event in the close to home city of Boston, I recall my 1982 running of the Boston Marathon. It was a blazing hot day, someone shouting out that the pavement was 105 degrees. The running was brutal and finishing for any of us was gruesome, but nothing as gruesome as the finish of the four-hour mark of yesterdays Boston Marathon.

We are all reeling with the event of yesterday, not just because it seems so insane anyone would target a running race, but because these horrific acts are becoming so common place. Absolutely nothing is sacred anymore. It appears that we as human beings can not do something that is innately within us to do: gather in groups. We can no longer gather together without risking a random act of some lunatic’s murderous intent.

As primitive beings when we gathered we might have run the risk of being eaten by wild beasts. But then, at least there was some reason. It was the circle of life. It was eat or be eaten. But this increasingly consistent violent show of cruelty, which is randomly fired upon innocent adults and children, is beyond understanding.

So I won’t and can’t try to understand it. I only know that I am very tired. A friend told me that I can’t live in fear. I don’t. I only feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. We can throw blame on many things. But none of those things will go away anyway. And none of them will bring back the people who are now dead or heal the injured or help the families that are wounded by loss.

How we humans move on from all this I do not know? Or if we do… Maybe we are headed for where the dinosaurs ended up and this will be our demise. Only it won’t be an ice age. Rather, we will be responsible for our own extinction.