A lot influential people are posting and tweeting that the bombings at the Boston marathon just make them stronger and more willing to attend public events. I'm not so sure I can say the same.
When 9/11 hit, I was simply paralyzed. I was pregnant at the time and couldn't believe the world I was bringing my child into. A very close friend was married shortly after the tragedy and as desperately as I wanted to attend that wedding, the fear of flying grounded me. At one point I was going to go and my 3 year old daughter begged me not to get on a plane. The horrific news stories and my own fears that I thought I sheltered her from were making their way into her life. I still think about that decision today and am upset that I let the terrorists win.
When tragedies or acts of terror happen, it's normal to think of yourself. You wonder what you would have done. You think how lucky you were not to be there. When it comes up in conversation, instead of talking about the wounded, you'll hear people saying things like, "I've been to that area before", "I use to live in Boston", "I know people who ran", "I love Boston" - as interesting as it is, when you think about it, it's all so narcissistic. It's hard to simply think of those involved without thinking of yourself.
That's why it's also difficult to know about this horrific event, and still go about life as normal. The real tragedy is that none of the people attending the marathon thought they were in any danger. It was a joyful occasion. They were not willingly entering a war or dangerous situation.
Even if you are like me and will live with a constant cloud of fear when conducting day to day activities, we must continue to live life. We can't go deeper into the dark hole. It's easy to let fear take over and decide to let other people live with the risk, but that's not really living. We need to embrace the fact that we do live in a free society and can move about with ease.
To bring it down to a much more narrow focus, I equate it to letting my children drive. I've heard of all the accidents and horrible events associated with teen driving, but I still let my 16 year old borrow the car. Is it hard every time? I hate to admit it, but yes. Do I worry all the time? Another hate to admit, but yes.
Wine helps (for me, not her.)
I'm not sitting her yelling, "Bring it on terrorists, we can take it", I'm just saying we can all be afraid, but continue to live and actually thrive. Now's the time to lean on one another and help those that need it. I'm sickened by all the stories of people missing limbs because of the bombing and once I know the most effective way to help those individuals, I will forward that information to everyone I know. If anyone here knows of something specific any of us can do to help besides sending cards, please share that as well.
I'm very proud to be an American, and as idealistic as it may sound, I pray that these disgusting cowardly acts come to an end.
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