Leaning on Other People’s Wisdom

boston with heart and candleLike many people, I’ve been wandering around in a daze this week. The horrific evil that occurred in Boston has consumed my thoughts but not produced any words worth writing. And so I’ve been still. Thinking, listening, waiting for the sparkles of joy that I knew would shine through eventually.

There were some amazing moments on Monday, people running toward the carnage to provide help and comfort. Boston residents opening their homes to visitors who weren’t able to get to their hotels or who needed to stay near one of the hospitals. Runners who crossed the finished line…and then kept running to area hospitals to donate blood.

In the midst of the heartache and devastation, these moments of help and comfort reminded me of the Mister Rogers quote so many people are leaning on in these hours:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

The helpers show us that there is hope. (Slate has a video of Mister Rogers expounding on this message. I find his voice and manner comforting in a way the printed word doesn’t quite reach.)

Patton Oswalt‘s short essay also gave me comfort, especially these words:

“The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

A reminder that evil isn’t everywhere, not “even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet”.

Business Insider shared 13 Examples of People Being Awesome After the Attack on the Boston Marathon and 9 Brilliant Tributes to Boston from Around the Universe.

More helpers, more hope.

And finally, today I saw Stephen Colbert’s “tribute” to the people of Boston and the marathoners:

It felt good to laugh. Even better, I felt the tiny sparkles of joy.

On Monday afternoon and again this morning, I paid my tiny tribute to the runners of the Boston Marathon with a few of my very brief “sprints”. I’m not a runner, but I wanted to do something. Along the way I figured out how to pay tribute to the spectators (MY people) who were injured or killed on Monday. On December 7th, I plan to be out bright and early at the Memphis Marathon to clap and cheer for the runners. And I’ll do it joyfully and with great enthusiasm in honor of those who had the pleasure taken from them.

How are YOU holding up?

16 thoughts on “Leaning on Other People’s Wisdom

  1. It amazes me how John Stewart and Stephen Colbert handle the big things with humor and grace. That takes talent and is much appreciated.

  2. Such a great post Cammy – with all going on, there are always the good – the helpers – the ones that care – we can’t let the others win.. I love that you will be cheering on the runners!

    Yes to what Lori said…. great people out there!

  3. what a beautiful idea, to be out supporting the Memphis marathon! I’m sure that’s the best thing to do. There will be lots of need for support and I bet you’ll be surrounded by other wonderful people.
    I’m going to take this time, while being reminded of how precarious life can sometimes be… to tell you how much I adore you, Cammy. I’m so happy and fortunate to have come to know you here and I have felt your support and friendship through all your comments on my blog, etc….
    You are a light in this world.
    big, big, big hugs…

  4. I did not personally know anyone running in Boston, but I knew about 25 people that had run in the Knoxville Marathon the previous Sunday. I thought about the joyous and festive atmosphere here in our little neck of the woods whose marathon holds no comparison to the daddy of them all (Boston), but is still a sanctioned event and special to us. I can’t imagine the horror and yet, like you say, the best thing for us to do is to be right there whenever and however we get the chance!!

  5. I do love that Mister Rogers quote and I was thinking about it when I was on my walk this morning. There were plenty of helpers doing their good works this week.

    This weeks events just make me sad for all the victims and families that have had their lives changed forever.

  6. I love the Mr. Rogers quote too. I have really enjoyed some of Anne Lamott’s writing on this subject too. Thanks for sharing these sparkles of hope with us.

  7. I love that Mister Rogers quote too! It has really been strange hearing about all of these awful things happening and I too am having a hard time dealing with it, good to know that you found a way to support people at the Memphis marathon. Hopefully there will be lots of people out there running for all of those who couldn’t make it to the finish line in the Boston Marathon

  8. What bothers me so much about Boston is that most of the injured were the spectators – they are the selfless ones, out early, cheering on the runners when they’d be much more comfortable home in bed…and they were the ones who were hurt so badly. I’m proud of you for committing to spectating at the Memphis marathon. It means SO MUCH to the runners, even when they get to the point (as I have) where they can’t hardly acknowledge the cheering with much more than a feeble thumbs up.

    • I went to the marathon about 5 years ago when my trainers were running, and I had a blast cheering for and with the runners. The only reason I haven’t been back is that it’s held in December and I’m a wuss. :) But barring any *real* problems, I’ll be there this year!

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