I’m a runner and I’m damn proud to say that. I love every aspect of it. The tragedy in Boston yesterday really hit me because I’ve crossed finish lines. I’ve stood there waiting for others to cross. That could be any race, any time, in any state.
But I refuse to wear a race shirt or run a race dedicated to those in Boston. Why? Because it does nothing. It just shows solidarity for one day, for one event. That’s not enough.
Instead everyone needs to help in a significant, life-changing, world-altering away. The violence in this world is getting worse and worse by the day. Events like Boston, Newtown, suicide bombings in the Middle East, slave trades in Africa, child prostitution, the list goes on and on, are growing in the headlines every day.
We need to promote peace and compassion, embrace peace and compassion,and, more importantly, show peace and compassion to everyone. The divisions between political parties, social classes, racial and sexual orientation differences, breeds anger and in many cases breeds hatred to the point of violence.
We need to finally put aside our egos and open our eyes to the fact that this is a big world, it’s not just me or you. Nothing will ever be just the way you want it so it helps to embrace the differences of those around you. Once you let go and start embracing every human being and holding every person sacred no matter who they are or what they believe, and when that vision spreads like a virus, you’ll find instances of violence like what happened yesterday slowly start disappearing.
Will there always be violence, of course. To envision a perfect peaceful utopia would be unrealistic. But acceptance, kindness, and compassion towards others is a great start and it’s something we’ve seem to have forgotten lately.
So what can we do? What can we do that actually takes tragedies like Boston and Newtown and make a lasting difference? It’s not wearing a shirt. It’s not dedicating a race. It’s taking the “Impeach Obama” sign off your front lawn, it’s taking the “Pro Choice” sticker off your car, it’s giving blood, it’s working at a homeless shelter, it’s volunteering at a food pantry, it’s turning off conservative and liberal radio and television, it’s helping someone across the street, it’s saying hello to everyone you meet. Above all else, pray, meditate, and send good, positive thoughts out into the world. Small actions that may seem small but have a lasting impact.
Go out and spread peace through action. If you want to do it in your race shirt, go ahead.