Response to Boston Marathon tragedy: Compassion and love

Posted Friday, April 19th, 2013. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

At first when I heard about the tragedy I was furious. What kind of world do we live in? I wanted to shake people and say, wake up we cannot continue to live like this: fear and anger and mistrust. And then I received emails over the next few days and read a articles about heroes and how the people of Boston and those attending dealt with the tragedy.

I want to share a number of these with you.

In the morning after the Boston bombings I received my daily “angel” message:

“In the adventure of life, at first, no one gets it. So help is sent.
Then, over time, some start getting it, but no one lives it. So more help is sent.
Soon, some start living it and even more start getting it, and an upward spiral ensues.
Eventually, of course, everyone is getting it and living it… But the earth’s not there yet.
So the question to ask yourself, Sandra, is, “Who shall I help next?”

You so get it,
The Universe

I realize that the souls like me see the world differently and know we do not have to suffer any longer to live a good life. We are deserving. I struggled with the question: at what point as human beings does our love for one another become greater than the hatred, fear and anger we have for one another? This is true on an individual level as it is on a world level. When I read this note it reminded me to be patient and compassionate and not everyone is where I am at. For me that means I can live a life filled with love and compassion for my fellow human beings and see that the collective conscious is changing.

I then read the paper the next morning and saw the picture of the eight-year-old boy who was one of three to die at the scene. The sign read: No more hurting people – Peace. Of course this drew so much attention. But do people really get it. This little boy stood for hours likely with that sign before the incident. Did anyone go up to him and say, yes we agree. It took his death for the world to look up and pay attention. This boy was a true angel who chose this path so we can remember to treat our fellow human beings with love and compassion. The idea of suffering and the need to suffer no longer holds value. Again, this belief will depend where you are in your self-awareness journey and how evolved you are. I want to thank eight-year-old Martin Richard for his presence in this human world and know his soul has gone on to a better place. His family lost an angel but the world gained one.

Love and compassion. That is what ensued immediately following the blasts. People like 53-year-old Carlos Arrendondo ran to help a man whose legs had been blown off. His actions saved the life of that runner. The people of Boston pulled together in a way that we as humans seem to do when there is tragedy. The advanced trauma people were amazing. I love to see this coming together. My only question is why do we have to wait for tragedy to happen for our better selves to emerge? We are moving from a “me” to “we” society and I believe that more and more people will begin to live this way. I can tell you from a health perspective it is much healthier on your body when you live in love versus anger and fear.

One of the articles I read interviewed a man returning home from the race. This is what he had to say about the Boston incident: “Everyone we met, from police officers to volunteers and mostly the common citizen, was nothing short of awesome. They’re a formidable people, the Yanks. I grew up next to them (in a border town) but I’ve never been more impressed.”

Another interesting fact in one article talked about the mindset of a runner. The Japanese-born (and part-time American) author Haruki Murakami wrote in his best-selling memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,”Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest.

And so the running will continue. The people of Boston will not be brought down. I heard that the Toronto Marathon organizers have put some more security measures in place yet the race will go on.

The last article I want to share was one I received the following day and I loved it. Amy Ahlers, The Wake-Up Call Coach, wrote a beautiful piece:

subject line: Boston, Fear, Love & Kindness (Wake-Up Call Wednesday)
Dear Sandra,

I had an entirely different email I was ready to send you today. I had it all prepped to go and then the tragic events at the Boston Marathon occurred and I felt inspired and compelled to send this to you instead.

I just left the East Coast, was actually boarding my flight home at JFK when the news of the bombings broke. I love the East Coast so much and am sending all the love and light I can muster.

When events like this occur, it is so difficult to process and we can begin to lose hope and faith in humanity. What I do know is that there is more goodness, more light and more love on this planet than anything else. As Patton Oswalt said in his brilliant facebook post:

The vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

So here is what I say we do. Let’s find a way to bring more goodness and kindness into the world TODAY. I challenge you to commit 5 or more acts of kindness today. They don’t need to be big or earth shattering…here’s some ideas:

-let someone go in front of you in traffic or the grocery store
-play peek-a-boo with a crying baby that needs distraction
-pay the toll for the person behind you
-call your mom or aunt or sister or friend and tell them you love them
-take your child to the park, leave your phone at home, and swing on the swings
-take your pooch for a big hike and watch him strut his stuff
-say something kind to yourself that you’ve been longing to hear

Won’t you join me? Let me know your 5+ acts of kindness on my Facebook page and let’s inspire one another. Together we will bring more love and goodness to the world to remind us all that humanity to good.

Sending you light,

Amy Ahlers, The Wake-Up Call Coach
Bestselling Author of Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves
CEO of Wake-Up Call Coaching
Co-Creator of Inner Mean Girl Reform School, Inner Wisdom Golden Circle,
Find Your Calling and Visionary Ignition Switch

I want to end with a question and one you can ponder: What kind of world do you want to live in, one of fear and anger or one of love?

I choose the latter.

If you are not where I am that is OK. Honour where you are at. Question it and see if this is truly who you are or is it the story you have bought into.

I will continue to bring light to this world.

This weekend take time to see what good you can offer: opening a door, smiling, giving an honest heart-felt compliment, receive love from others who want to share and always be true to you.

All my love,


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