Friday, December 26, 2014

5 Boston Marathon pieces to restore your faith in humanity

After Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, there are countless news stories about the carnage and investigation. But around the web, there are also tributes to marathon running and the day’s heroes and kindness. Here are few reflections that caught our eye.

5 Boston Marathon pieces to restore your faith in humanity

A Boston resident offers runners orange juice. (Instagram photo)
A Boston resident offers runners orange juice. (Instagram photo)

After Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, there are countless news stories about the carnage and investigation. But around the web, there are also tributes to marathon running and the day’s heroes and kindness. Here are few reflections that caught our eye.

1. Comedian Patton Oswalt’s Facebook post: Posted just a couple hours after the explosions, a reminder that most people are good:

“I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. [...] 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.'"

2. The Atlantic Wire rounds up acts of kindness: From runners offering each other jackets to Boston residents serving orange juice on the street, stunned runners and spectators documented the acts of kindness they witnessed in the hours after the attack.

3. RebelMouse’s hero page: The social news site has a huge, inspiring collection of photos, videos and other posts from social media showing people helping each other in Boston. 

4. The Nation reminds us of Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon: The race director tried to shove Switzer off the course, but male racers fought him back so Switzer could keep going.

“Like a scar across someone’s face, the bombing will now be a part of the Boston Marathon, but also like a scar, we have to remember it’s only a part. If this bombing will always be a part of the Boston Marathon, then so is Kathrine Switzer. I want to tell the story of Kathrine Switzer because it’s about remembering the Boston Marathon as something more than the scene of a national tragedy. [...] In 1967, Boston Marathon gave us all a glimpse of the possible. Today we saw not of the world we’d aspire to live in, but the one we actually inhabit. Instead of the triumph of the individual amidst the powerful throngs and inspiration of the collective, we have tragedy, disarray, panic, and fear. Like a scar, it now marks us: the loss of security among the mass. But like a scar, we may need to wear it proudly. We will run next year because the alternative is too awful to contemplate.”

5. Jezebel’s tribute to marathon spectators: The thousands of people who spend hours outside cheering on complete strangers are the ones who make the race.

“The spectators — people who show up and cheer with noisemakers and high fives and encouraging cheers and magic-markered tagboard signs that read "YOU ALL ARE CRAZY! KEEP RUNNING!"— are the people who matter most to runners. Without those people, a marathon would just be an exercise in self-abuse from a large group of crazies. But there is meaning in marathoning: the people who watch."

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