What I love about Boston is how unapologetic and honest it is. Even before this, Boston's ability to merge upper crust sophistication with the brute of a beer-drunk Red Sox fan and the endearing pretentiousness of an up-and-coming musician fascinated me -- it's a city that welcomes you no matter who you are, takes care of you, but doesn't hold your hand. It teaches you perseverance and compassion and what it means to be a part of something bigger. Boston is a catalyst for growth; it was for me and it is for so many people.
In the wake of the attack, people are posting all over the Internet about the incredible nature of the city and humanity in general. Maybe it's trivial, but I think it's truly heartwarming to see how much compassion comes through, even just via social media, when things like this happen. On the flip side, some people seem to have lost their faith in human goodness and are posting about how "fucked up" the world really is. I have to wonder how the pessimism serves these people in their everyday lives. The person or people who did this, anyone who commits massive acts of violence, should not and cannot serve as a representation of humanity. (see Patton Oswalt and/or Mr. Rogers viral postings) You can't be scared of the world -- and there needs to be SOMETHING to hang onto. A knee-jerk reaction is understandable, but I hope in the days following, people are able to reflect and see the stories of civilians helping each other, the lines of people rushing to donate blood and the incredible resilience and compassion I assure you, humanity is alive and well. People are helping in any way they can. I know I've run into some "praying does nothing" posts. I am pretty far on the agnostic spectrum, probably really an atheist, and I think praying does something. It creates comfort for both the victims and for those of us who want to offer support but aren't sure what to do. Call them prayers, call it love, call them thoughts; it's support, it's banding together. And on some level, it helps. People will help. They always do. Don't lose your faith in humanity. And don't lose your faith in Boston.
Sending all my love to the first major city I ever called home and feeling extremely grateful I was ever able to do so.
This post originally appeared on LK in NY.