Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An Open Letter to Would-be Terrorists and Bombers

Dear would-be terrorist:

I’m not angry. I don’t have any sense of revenge. I do have a sense of guilt for admitting this but I feel no anger or rage about the events in Boston. I’m not angry because today I have this enormous understanding that you can’t win. Despite Lord Helmet’s famous quote evil cannot triumph over good. I’m not gloating or bragging I’m merely stating fact. The events at the Boston Marathon proved it.

Nobody knows yet about motive or who did this terrible deed. My heart does ache for the people of Boston and all those enjoying one of the best local traditions this country offers (second only to Dyngus Day). Squirrel at G:TB could not have said it better - about both the marathon and the people of Boston. 

In the immediate aftermath I, like many others, was almost overwhelmed with emotion. I went through the usual process but this time was different. Yes, I did experience extreme sadness and my heart does still ache for Boston and the victims. Rage and revenge though were but a fleeting thought. What I have been feeling for the last 36 hours is a sense of calm knowing that it’s going to be alright.

You can’t win. I’m not sure what you were trying to accomplish but if the motive was reassuring the public that in times of crisis we come together to help our fellow man, then well played. Any other motive or message is being drowned out by random acts of kindness that is having a much wider impact than any bombs you can throw.

I suppose it started on September 11, 2001. In the face of death, destruction, and mayhem folks chose to help whether in NYC, Virginia or in the skies over Pennsylvania. It really crystalized for me at the Boston Marathon. Story after story across the media outlets highlighting examples shrugging off fear and horror to offer assistance and comfort. I’ve seen video footage of folks running into danger. Stories of Boston area residents offering places to stay. Restaurants offering “pay what you can”. NPR even reported a man getting his tax return at a local Jackson Hewitt offering a portion of his tax refund to the victims. That local office is in Mississippi. There are countless other stories I’m sure.

The perpetrator of Monday’s terrorist attack will be found and will pay the appropriate penalty. I’m hoping this open letter helps you understand you can’t win so you stop the senseless violence. There are countless ways of accomplishing your mission through nonviolence and kindness. I’m hoping somebody somewhere understands this country has too much resilience, too much strength, too much love. I don’t know about your motive but I know I feel much better about the human condition today. So, why not put down the bomb and pick up a craft beer and go about your business in a different way? Because you can’t win with terror and bombs.

Dumbarton's Beer

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