The Heart of Boston

In the wake of the tragic end to Monday’s Boston Marathon, we find ourselves at GRTL experiencing a wide swath of emotional aftermath, as we are sure many of you are. Horror, disbelief, anger, sorrow, certainly. Deep sympathy for those whose lives were impacted by this event. But amidst the darkness of the grief, we have been heartened to find the eternal blossoming of something else emerging.

Across our communities near and far, we are finding that in the face of such tragedy there is always love, and there is always light.

A friend pointed yesterday to footage of the event where emergency responders and everyday citizens were running towards and not away from the scene. Another called on us to give blood and volunteer. Family reached out to make sure we were all okay. Neighbors shared grief openly while still celebrating a city that is bigger than all of this. From all corners, support and courage and love flourished.

In moments like these we are confronted with our humanity, both at its worst and at its best, and we are challenged to bear the weight of that tension. As humans, we undoubtedly carry the capacity for great goodness and great darkness; we are inherently both. And yet, in each moment we also have the capacity to choose where to put our strength and focus. What will we embody? How will we respond? Who will we be?

Drawing on the collective wisdom of our community’s response to this tragedy, we offer three quotes for your consideration.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” -Fred Rogers

“…so many people have hearts of goodness. We can’t forget that. Not ever. Not today. Not in Boston. Not ever. Because that is exactly what the Boston Marathon is about: It’s about not giving up, not giving in to pain. It’s about that celebration of surviving and enduring against all odds, against everything. It’s about humanity. No bomber can take that away. Not ever.”

To read the rest of this beautiful firsthand account of the day, please click here.

From our hearts to yours, wishing you courage, healing, and the best of our shared humanity.

One response. Share your comments.

One response to “The Heart of Boston”

  1. Lisa Zigarmi says:


    Here’s to seeing the meaning, beauty or purpose in this situation and acting in a way the promotes collective growth…

    I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

    But I was wrong. 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. This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

    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

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While they were saying it couldn't be done, it was done.
— Helen Keller