Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Run For Your Life

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm running a 5K. Mostly, just because I can. And what better one to do than THIS?

I've been wanting to do a fun run for a while now. I've mentioned it to a few people, but have never acted on it. I'm working on running and am getting much better at it. Lately I've been looking up runs and came across Color Me Rad last week. Then today a friend randomly mentioned that we should do it and I said "Okay, let's do it!" So we are.

And no, I don't think it's insensitive after what happened in Boston yesterday. In fact, I think it's the perfect timing. I will be running for every single person who was affected by that tragedy. I will run it for eight-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester. I will run it for the children of Sandy Hook. I will run it for every person whose life has been prematurely snuffed out. We owe it to them to live our lives fully and to not cower in fear- you can't let the darkness win.

Just like I still went to see Batman in the theater after Aurora, like I had planned (you can read my thoughts from then here- they still apply). And just like I still took kids out in public after Newton. And how we still went to school after Columbine, and to church after Wedgwood. Life doesn't stand still when bad things happen. Should we remember? Of course. Should we try to make sure things like that don't happen again? Absolutely. Should we live in fear, or react in anger? Hell no.

A terrible tragedy happened yesterday in Boston. I feel that I've been saying that a lot lately... "A terrible tragedy happened in (blank)." We have been reminded so often lately how fragile life is and how with one breath, it can change forever. Things like this shake us to the core. They make us question humanity. They bring up hard issues.

Don't worry, I'm not going to get political right now. I don't think it's the time to do so, regardless of how I feel on many issues. I'm not going to focus on what is wrong, or bad, or ugly about this situation or the world we live in. This isn't the time to blame the economy, or education, or gun control, religion, or lack thereof. In this moment, that won't do a damn thing. Instead, I am going to take a page out of Mister Rogers' book.

Fred Rogers, of 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' fame once said, "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.'" - Fred Rogers

Rather than send hatred to those to who harm, I'm going to be a helper. When Carlos Arredondo lost his son to war, he started attending races to hand out American flags. Rather than become bitter from his experience, he used it to offer encouragement to others. Carlos was in Boston on Monday. He saved Jeff Bauman's life, when Jeff lost his legs in the blast and was bleeding out. When tragedy strikes, look for the helpers. When all hope is lost, look for the good. And if you can't find any, create it.

My Mama always tells me "leave a place better than you found it." None of us know when we're going to leave this place, so why waste a second of our time here spreading one iota of bad energy? I'm choosing to cling to the good. I'm not going to be angry, or lose hope, or stop trusting other people. I'm not going to hide away in fear of what bad may fell me. I'm going to spread joy, and laughter, and love, and light, every chance I can. I'm not going to run from life, I'm going to run for it.

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

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