“Look for the helpers. You’ll always find people who are helping.” –Mr. Rogers
I’d like to take this opportunity to point out all the amazing things that happened in Boston yesterday. I know you’re likely focusing on a different reality, but, as a reporter who often gets called into “disasters” like this, I know from personal experience that the media completely misses the bigger story.
Mass media shows the blood, the ambulances, the crying family members. But in my work as a reporter for People magazine where yes, I report on tornadoes and kidnappings and whole towns being washed away by floods, I witness the most incredible displays of generosity, the very finest of the human spirit.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but just so you keep things in perspective:
** Dozens of runners in yesterday’s marathon crossed the finish line and kept right on running to the hospital where they donated blood.
** Boston residents emerged from their homes to offer orange juice, free rooms to stranded runners, showers, kind words.
** Restaurants offered free meals, open wifi, electricity to charge their phones.
** A website went up immediately with offers like, “I have a couch, an inflatable twin mattress and beautiful Chihuahuas to love you.”
** The Brooklyn Academy of Music projected this:
And then this:
And, of course, you may have seen comedian Oswalt Patton’s facebook post (I’m happy to report it went viral), but in case, you missed it, here’s what he said:
“I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem — one human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in a while, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they
dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evildoers 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.”