Boston Bombings and Boy Scouts
It is hard to describe the range of emotions that has wracked through my brain in the past three weeks over the devastation caused by the sheer stupidity and ignorance of the Boston bombings.
To put it in perspective, I would whole-heartedly support the amputation of both legs and both hands of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a form of punishment AFTER his trial – I am American, so I do believe that he is innocent until proven guilty. Once proven guilty, cut off his legs and hands.
Why do I feel such intense hatred? Well, I am part of the club, that somewhat exclusive club of marathoners who has previously run down Boylston Street celebrating the final mile. My family was right there at the finish line (in 2006, not this year), also waiting to celebrate. The furthest thing from my mind was the safety of my family at the finish line of a marathon, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has taken this away from me. He has taken away my ability to celebrate.
He has won, in a manner of speaking. I find myself eye-balling the guy carrying the back-pack at the baseball game. I find myself looking for the isolated box on the ground in the shopping mall. I find myself crying at night for that poor eight year old boy who simply wanted to see his daddy cross the finish line.
Back to the boy scouts. I was camping with the boy scouts when they announced they captured the suspect. I felt a sense of relief of course, and yet this 19 year child was not much older than the scouts I was with. How could a boy get so twisted as to think that this was the right and just thing to do? I teach kids about respect for their environment, to leave no trace, to be conservation-minded. I don’t teach them not to blow up other people. I assume they know that’s a bad choice.
Maybe I need to spend just as much time talking about respect of feelings, anti-bullying, and family as I do about identifying poison ivy. Somehow, basic values have to be instilled in each and every one of us, and there are clear lines that you don’t cross. And I hope that Dzhokhar never has the opportunity to cross any finish line ever again.