In light of the recent events in Boston, I am making a simple plea to all my fellow humans: give humanity a chance!
Our society is reeling from the tragic events that took three lives and devastated many more. It’s easy to point fingers, and shout accusations, to withdraw into a proverbial cave of misunderstanding and hatred. It’s a much more difficult task to love, and learn to forgive. I’m not saying that we should drop everything, hold hands and sing a rousing chorus of Kumbaya- only that we should take the time to realize that humanity does not end in the face of senseless violence.
My roommate is from Boston. Her sister and a number of friends from college were at the marathon. I sat on the couch next to her, awkwardly rubbing her shoulder as she cried and avoided eye contact with our third roommate. We were invaders on her sorrow- her attempts to reconcile with the fact we are 3,000 miles from Boston and her city was hurting.
Boston, we love you- I love you.
There aren’t words in the English language that can accurately describe my feelings towards the people of Boston who have stood so strong in the face of this tragedy. I wish sorry was enough to cover the pain of the loss, but I know that it’s not even a band-aid on this wound.
What I can do, what we can all do, is to not give up on the idea of humanity. We need to believe that there is good in people out there and not run to social media and cry about the decline of mankind and peace. It still exists, and although it’s hard to find right now, we need to believe that peace is still possible, that love is still attainable.
The best thing to do to honor the dead is to not give up the idea that they were- they are somebody important. If we allow ourselves to be consumed by rage, we forget to remember them. Don’t forget what the Tsarnaev brothers did. What they did was an atrocity- a pathetic cry for attention. But don’t withdraw either. Instead of looking at your neighbor with suspect eyes, hold out your hand.
Give humanity a chance. It’s not perfect. It takes work, and it has multiple definitions. But, it’s something that is worth working for. It’s something that we shouldn’t give up on because there are so many beautiful things that come out of humanity.
Humanity is seeing people running towards the bombs when no one would have blamed them for running away. Humanity is us united, declaring that we are #BostonStrong and cheering together when the suspects were cornered. Humanity is the students who are graduating soon. I have 24 seniors who are beating their wings against the cage of high school. When I see people questioning humanity- demanding to know what is wrong with people- my heart breaks. What kind of society are my students moving into? How quickly will the stars in their eyes fade when they see people around them giving up?
Humanity is holding hands, creating a human fence to keep out the Westboro Baptists who have threatened to picket. Humanity is not letting that hatred win over the events that should be celebrations of beautiful lives.
If we give up on humanity, we give up on the idea that people are inherently good. That more are willing to give a helping hand than to bite an outstretched one. If we give up on humanity, then we give up on ourselves. Only then, will we have truly lost everything.