About 99.9 percent of of the days of our lives are extremely ordinary and unmemorable.
Unfortunately, today was not one of those days.
Whenever something happens like what occurred today in Boston, it just gives you that dreary feeling. It’s a feeling you’ve only experienced a few times in your life — 9/11, Sandy Hook.
You try to pretend that these events don’t faze you, that justice will soon be served, that candlelight vigils will be held to remember the deceased, and that soon enough things will be back to normal and you can get back to your ordinary and unmemorable day-to-day life.
But somewhere in the back of your mind, you know — you know — that a slight bit of your faith in humanity has been detached, and is floating away towards oblivion, never to return again. I’m not saying that everyone in the world feels completely and utterly dejected, because some people do try to mask themselves from feeling sad as a means of protection. It’s how people cope, and that’s fine. However, even if you’re not dejected, you still have that feeling of hopelessness, even if it’s a small one.
And that is a real shitty feeling.
It’s hard to imagine that there are actual human beings who are responsible for this. When you think of the act and the devastation it caused, your mind thinks of some default, stone-faced villain that might appear in the movie Die Hard. It’s like you expect an actor who bears a physical resemblance to what a “bad guy” looks like to be the responsible party. But instead, it’s no actor, it’s not Alan Rickman — it’s an actual human who intended to kill as many people as possible. And that, to me, is inconceivable.
Inconceivable. Unbelievable. Speechless. These are words you hear time and time again when such a tragedy strikes, but the truth of the matter is, it did strike, and we all have to deal with it now. Any by “deal with it” I simply mean that we have to digest the knowledge that things like this happen. It’s the world we live in and stuff like this happens.
Patton Oswalt wrote a great piece on Facebook that best encapsulates any sense of positivism we could feel today, and you can read that here. So if you’re still a little bummed and in desperate need for a pick-me-up, I highly suggest you give that a read. It’ll help.
With today’s 24/7 social media world, tragedies like today’s events are covered in a way like no other. Pieces of information are thrown all over the cyber world, from one end to the other, reaching billions of ears along the way. And this is dangerous. Everyone expects to get the truth instantly, and feeling compelled to be the first to deliver it — media outlets will publicize any scrap of information they get their hands on, whether it has any validity or not.
By this point, everybody should know that within the first hour of any acts of terrorism, you should take everything you hear with a grain of salt. I just can’t help but wonder how differently 9/11 would have been covered had Twitter existed at the time. I seriously just cannot imagine it.
There’s not really much that can be done during times like these. Let the firefighters, the police and the National Guard be the heroes. It’s what they do and we should be grateful. What the rest of us need to do is simple — care.
It’s okay to be frazzled. It’s okay to be shaken. Or upset. Those feelings of emotion is what makes you you. You don’t need to fly to Boston on the next Red Eye to donate your time. You don’t have to contribute hundreds of dollars to the Red Cross Boston Chapter. You don’t even need to post a Facebook status or Tweet #prayforboston to show any of that.
People cared before Facebook. And they’ll care after Facebook.
It’s a lesson that we all learned when we were 4 years old and watched Care Bears as kids. But sometimes the lessons we learned when we were 4 hold the most inherent truth. And if people care, then that means more good is going to happen in this world than bad.
It’s that simple.