Yesterday’s horrific and senseless tragedy in Boston stirred up many of the same feelings I had on a beautiful September morning almost 12 years ago. Sadness. Anger. Rage. Confusion. And simply Why? Why did this happen? How could it happen at a time of celebration, peace and personal and community achievement? Words simply don’t do the feelings justice. I went to Twitter to get more facts about what had happened, and then looked for the Tweets of my many Boston-based friends to see that they and their families were ok. Finally, my feelings washed towards empathy, understanding how such a tragic event can both shock and ultimately cause a city, a community to come together in ways previously unimaginable.
As I’ve watched the many responses to the event pop up on blogs, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter I’ve been both amazed and blown away by the stark message sent by all: We will not stop. We will not be scared. We will get busy helping, contributing – and running. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 2x the applications to the 2014 Boston Marathon given the vibe I’ve seen across the social nets. Many of my running friends across the start-up and investment communities have already stated their intention to run next year’s Boston Marathon, to simply say no to fear and to move forward in a constructive way. Props to all.
But perhaps the most surprising aspect of the responses I’ve seen is that rather than focusing on anger and thoughts of revenge, they’ve largely centered on feelings of sadness followed by calls to action. Donating blood, money and time. Running in next year’s race. Positive stuff. I don’t know if we as a society are getting better at reacting to crises or if violating something as pure and sacred as the Boston Marathon caused a specific outpouring of emotion, but I’m truly blown away by the tone of the messaging. To me it is a life lesson in how to handle crises being demonstrated on a mass scale.