What is it about this week?
Is there bad mojo all of a sudden being passed throughout the country? Is it something in the water? And is there some sort of “beyond-our-understanding”, cosmic connection to the horrific events that have happened this week? It seems like something out of fiction. Maybe this is how the apocalypse starts. Maybe this is a sign that something is coming, or that we are entering a dark time. Maybe the Winchesters from Supernatural broke Lucifer out of hell and he’s decided to toy with the country.
Or maybe it’s just the worst week in American history.
On Monday, the Boston Marathon occurred. On what was supposed to be a day where those with busy lives dedicate time to run for charities, tragedy struck. 3 dead, and close to 200 injured, due to two homemade bombs placed strategically at the finish line.
On Tuesday, as if the country wasn’t already recovering from the previous days events and finally starting to get the facts straight, a few politicians, including President Obama, received letters containing the deadly poison Ricin.
As if our worry from these two day hadn’t already skyrocketed, on Wednesday a chemical plant in West, TX exploded, killing dozens and injuring over 150 people.
And, to top it all off, today, Thursday, a police officer was killed at MIT responding to a call.
If these events were to take place individually, and as a country we had through time to process and get through the hard parts of each events, we could return to functioning how we as a country normally do when these random acts occur.
But they didn’t take place months and months apart. It was days. Hours.
Our country is not one so used to terror and death. Yes, we see our soldiers sacrifice their lives for our country, but not only is it rarely on American soil, but those are soldiers. Not civilians. Not mothers and husbands, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers. Not those who have yet to live their lives, or tell someone they love them. Not people who go about their days doing after school activities or who’s biggest decision as a college student is deciding what to eat for dinner.
When this pain and suffering hits the innocent civilians of our country, it’s not taken lightly by the rest of us. But when something like this happens, when the death and loss hit hard so many times in a row, we’re confused. Dazed, even. The question of “is this really happening” becomes not solely towards individual events, but towards the country and the world instead. The macro-view of it all. It becomes a global concept, because the thought of that many lost and injured innocent people is far beyond our comprehension as Americans. We don’t live in war-ridden countries where bombings and attacks happen daily, where making home safely every night is one’s greatest accomplishment. We aren’t used to terror and fear as daily aspects of our lives.
Maybe that’s why I haven’t seen the earthquake that hit Iran and Pakistan and killed people mentioned too much, though it only happened days ago. Do we expect these death often enough in these countries that a natural disaster doesn’t attract our interests to care? I find that not only extremely unsettling, but completely arrogant of us as a country. People are people; victims are victims; innocent are innocent-not matter which country they’re in. And even though, yes, we are dealing with our own dilemmas, it’s not the first time that other countries tragedies have seemed to “pass-over” us.
But I think that’s changed. I think after this week, we as Americans will not only see our country differently, but maybe see others differently as well. We’ll come to the realization of how short life can be, but we’ll also notice how we as Americans are lucky to be living in a country where events like this aren’t a daily occurrence or worry. Maybe we’ll watch CNN a little bit more often to stay in tune with the world, monitoring it’s happenings; that’s the least I can hope for.
And, the most important point of all: this week will end. And a new one will start. And we will live our a little more to the fullest; maybe by taking that chance at applying for a promotion, maybe by giving that cute guy at the coffee shop at shot at a date. Who knows. What I do know, though, is that this week will not be forgotten. And it shouldn’t be. It’s an important time for us as a country, and I hope that, if anything, it will help us as a country in the future.
Live long and prosper, friends. My thoughts are with the families all over the world who are suffering loss. It is a feeling I wish upon no one.