Monday, April 15, 2013

Man's humanity to man: Boston is in my blood and in my heart

As many of my loyal readers know, the Chipfolk hail from Boston. Mama Lou and her very small family (numbering two) live in SE Connecticut, but my father's extended and extensive family live in the North Shore of Boston or in the immediate Boston area itself.

I spent the first 13 years of my life in Saugus, MA, just 14 miles north of Boston.

I am the black sheep of the Chipfolk. I have a second cousin who lives somewhere in Indonesia (it was Borneo last I knew, but now I'm not so sure), but I am the only other Chip-person who has opted not to live within a T-ride of Boston proper.

My Chipfolk live in Boston or work in Boston or play in Boston.

It was hard to not live in the Boston area when my grandmother took ill and slowly passed away last summer. It was hard to not live in the Boston area when the Red Sox won the World Series (both times). Or when my favorite cousin gave birth to each of her three children.

And today it is hard to not live in the Boston area once again.

All Chipfolk are well and accounted for.

Thank goodness.

And thank goodness for social media and text messaging, which allowed me to find this out within hours, not days.

It will be a long time, I suspect, before the news out of Boston coalesces into something resembling sense. Maybe it never will. The murder of an 8-year-old child will likely never make anything like "sense."

I hope the murder of an 8-year-old child, whether on the streets of Boston or the streets of Baghdad, never makes anything like sense.

But tonight I am overwhelmed by the Pollyanna need to remind each and every one of you that goodness starts with the individual. Goodness and kindness and a better world starts in the heart of one person, multiplied out.

Gosh, this makes me sound like a crazy hippy, and anyone who knows me knows that I am not a crazy hippy (or not much of one– put down the hula hoop, people! no one wants to see that shiz at Waterfront Wednesday!). 

But more than today's bombing reminds me of the Big Picture, it reminds me of the Small Picture. The one that begins with one person choosing to say a kind thing (or nothing at all) when the crappy thing to say is easier. That begins with letting someone else's bad behavior play out in its own way, rather than pointing a neon sign to it and then reveling in that person's error or bad judgement.

That begins without judgement of everyone and anyone who has a different way of thinking or doing, letting those folks find their own way even if you're not a fan of where they're going...

We have seen so many examples of man's humanity to man today:

  • Runners, after completing a marathon, going straight on to donate blood. 
  • First responders who, after hearing the explosions, ran toward the devastation, not away. 
  • Ordinary people offering their homes and free transportation and their cell phones and internet connections and food and comfort to people who couldn't get back to their hotels or parties. 
  • A national outpouring of love and grief and support.

Lately things in my teeny-weeny little corner of Louisville have felt kind of toxic and disappointing.

And then something like this happens, and I am so grateful and so in love with the humanity of humans.

My people are safe. The heroes outnumber the villains. And in the face of tragedy and horribleness, we are all united in support and concern.

Today, I was very proud when Insider Louisville decided to hold all of its posts until tomorrow. I wrote this disclaimer and then got the thumbs up from the boss.

In this case the Big Picture's importance outweighed everything else. As it should have.

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