Last week I watched as Twitter blew up over the guilty verdict at the trial of Boston Marathon bomber. People opined their versions of punishment of him – in a lot of cases, plotting a violent and painful death for him or putting hateful words about how they hoped someone else would do something violent and painful to him if he spent life in prison, because the death penalty would be something he wanted – martyrdom.
The whole thing made me feel pukey. (Yes, not a great word, but the best a friend and I could come up with.)
It made me feel small, and sad, and scared, and I had to step away from the internet for a while.
I believe the person who perpetuated the bombing deserved justice. I strongly believe he needed to face his victims and hear the pain and suffering and death he brought on innocent people two years ago this day.
But the violence in people’s reaction?
Made me feel worse.
A slow and painful, torturous death for him will not bring back the dead, nor will it restore limbs and innocence and security to any of the people who suffered as a result of his actions.
Life in prison, being tortured by others will not bring eradicate the vulnerability I feel when I look at my husband and son and I think, I could lose them.
It’s so easy to pretend he is not human, because he built his life on hate. And his violent end, as good as it might feel that we are “eradicating evil?”
It’s simply fighting hate with more hate. It will not FIX anything. It will not change anything. It puts more hate into the world and separates us more.
I feel really strongly that the world needs more love.
It needs more kindness, more empathy, more friendship, more connection. We need to remember that we’re all human, and every one of us struggles with pain, with loneliness, with feelings of not being enough, of not belonging. Of feeling separate from other people.
The only way to combat that, I believe, is with kindness. And compassion. And empathy.
Today is the two year anniversary of the marathon bombing. And it’s also One Boston Day.
Today, I am choose to remember we’re all human, and we all struggle.
Today I’m holding the victims of the bombing in my heart.
Today I’m sitting with my friends and family who are struggling with really hard decisions and tough situations.
Today I’m owning my words and listening to others’ experiences without judging.
Today I’m putting more love into the world.
We are all in this being human thing together.
Please, can we be kind to each other?