Like all Americans, I was horrified by the terrorist bomb blast that rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon yesterday. For the victims, I...and I know all of you...offer heartfelt thoughts and sincere sympathy.
There will be many people far more informed than me who will deduce who did this, why and what can be done to make sure it does not happen again. There will be those who use this incident to try and make political points - twisting facts to fit their ideology, ignoring history to justify their beliefs and conveniently blaming someone or some group that they oppose.
But not me.
No, I have my thoughts on all that, but I will reserve judgement.
Rather, after sorrowful thoughts to those directly impacted I feel that this is just ONE MORE INCIDENT that life doles out that just reminds us that life is fragile, short and should not be taken for granted. You think you're going to run a marathon and have a great time, but a bomb goes off and kills you...or maims you.
A woman in the Seattle area drives to work one morning recently and is killed by a drunk driver who does a u-turn on the freeway and smashes into her.
Another drunk driver two weeks earlier takes out a number of pedestrians recently in the Seattle area.
My otherwise perfectly healthy aunt dies of brain cancer at a very young age.
Some people go for a hot air balloon ride in Luxor, Egypt and their balloon explodes killing them all.
A mentally ill person gets a hold of an arsenal of weapons and shoots children dead in an elementary school...or a movie theater in Denver...or at Virginia Tech...and on and on.
People...life. is. short. You think you're going to live to 90 and die peacefully in your sleep. You might. But you might not.
So, what are you to do with this knowledge? Live in fear? Tuck yourself away and live in fear? Limit your exposure?
I say no.
I say the opposite.
I say you need to live life the best you can. Do not live in fear. Do not live stupidly, but...do not live in fear. Experience the things you can and that you want to. You may have way less time on this Earth to do those things than you think.
Paint that picture. Write that short story. Ask that girl or boy on a date. Go on that trip to the place you've always wanted to go to. Take a class to learn something new. Love the person you are with as best you can. Rock out (or whatever you're into). Change your look up. Learn to play an instrument. Meet new friends. Join that sports league. RUN A MARATHON. Do not work on weekends.
All of these things and more add up to experiences and happiness...things that you cannot and should not take for granted. It could end today, or tomorrow...or in five years from now. Don't be irresponsible, but LIVE LIFE and take in what this world has to offer.
And guess what? If you are lucky and you do indeed live a long life...think how much more interesting that life will have been and the stories you can reflect on, share and pass on to your children, friends or loved ones.
People, the events of the Boston bombing are horrific. They are tragic. Those responsible need to be hunted down and brought to justice.
But, do not lose sight of the other lesson that this incident like oh so many teach us all too regularly - the spark of life can be over before you know it, so live life to the fullest while you can.