Keeping the Faith

2 bomb detonations at the Boston Marathon, a 7.8 earthquake on the Pakistani/Iranian border, another car bomb in Iraq, a swarm of earthquakes in Oklahoma, the 1 year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings, North Korea continues to rattle their swords in an attempt to extort more aid from the world – the last two days have been overwhelming. It always seems that heart-wrenching events come in groups.

A decade ago, we’d have been huddled around the nearest radio or television for the latest news. Now everyone with a smartphone is an observer, a testament to the event at hand. Investigators call on the public to provide them any photos or video they might have taken to help piece together events. Social media is used to connect loved ones. This world of information is intimidating, yet a blessing in an emergency. Showing the world humanity truly does have a heart.

The comedian Patton Oswalt wrote a piece that speaks volumes to the heart of humanity on his Facebook page.

…But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.” Patton Oswalt, April 15, 2013, commenting on the bombing of the Boston Marathon

It’s so easy to list the tragedies. As heavy as hatred and fear are, they are the first to float to the surface.  Just ask the Saudi Arabian man in the US on a student visa. He ‘looked’ suspicious as he ran with the crowd away from the bomb sites.

The search is linked to a young Saudi Arabian man in the United States on a student visa, the law enforcement source who spoke to CNN on Tuesday said. Nothing was found at the apartment linking the man to the bombings, the source said, cautioning not to read too much into the search as investigators will be talking to numerous people. The search took place by consent, according to another federal law enforcement source, meaning no search warrant was needed. (bold added by me)

There are never enough ‘right’ words to work our collective psyche through a tragedy. By remembering that the vast majority of humanity, regardless of nation of origin, are good people, we can find strength in those around us.

So, say a prayer, think a good thought, help your neighbor, or reach out to a stranger. A simple act of kindness can change the course of a life.



  • Great post, Leila. We need to be reminded, sometimes.

    • Thanks Joanna.

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