You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. – Mahatma Gandhi
At 2:50pm I was in Kenmore Square, about a mile away and headed towards Copley Square. I had a massage client later that afternoon near the finish line. My plan was to walk down Boylston and cheer on the runners as they turned left off of Hereford and could finally, finally, see the end of their 26.2 miles. I never got there.
I’m not taking poetic license when I say that at that moment I was thinking “I really love this city.” It was bright and sunny, though still chilly. The crowds at Kenmore were huge and loud in the best way possible. There’s a certain reverence for the Marathon here. Sure, some use the day off as an excuse to start drinking early, but it never seems to get out of hand. The crowds line the road, cheering for everyone and no one. It’s family-friendly. It’s positive. I had out-of-town massage clients on Saturday and I told them that this was my favorite weekend in Boston and I was glad they were here.
After finding out the extent of what had happened, I turned back and headed home through eerily quiet streets. My phone buzzed with text after text from friends who knew I was going to be in the area making sure I was ok. I’ve never been so grateful for technology.
I wrote the following on my personal Facebook:
Whenever something horrible has happened elsewhere in the past few years, I’ve wondered how it would feel if it happened in Boston. Sadly, I don’t have to wonder anymore. I’m shocked and sad and wish I could wake up and realize this didn’t happen. I’m choosing to focus on the good I saw while walking home today – strangers helping each other, holding each other, asking “are you ok?”, people coming out of their apartments near Kenmore to offer water and blankets to the runners. I’m grateful that everyone I know is safe, and for all those who contacted me to make sure I was. Be good to each other.
Like so many others are saying today, it’s important to notice the good in people that comes out during a dark time. I’ve never bought into the idea t that Bostonians are rude and unfriendly and I hope that stereotype can be shut down for good now. Ignore the media’s speculation and rumors about who did this and why. Don’t lose hope in the good.