Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

We were recently in the North End of Boston. Very historical. Beautiful place. Fabulous weather. Good eats.

Passed by Paul Revere’s house on the way to a restaurant. About a block up, near a corner curb, there’s a bit of a crowd. Couple of older gents and ladies looking at the ground.

It just takes one, right?

A person looks up and we all look up because we are curious beings. A person looks down and we all look down because we are curious beings.

It’s a touristy area. Heavy foot traffic. At this point, foot traffic slows and everyone is looking down and asking, “What’s up?”

Or really more like, “What’s down?”

There is a sewer grate.

Everyone’s first thought is, “Oh good God, did their phone fall through the grate?”

Okay, maybe it was just my first thought.

But that is our society. Right or wrong. We can’t live without those phones.

Well, it wasn’t a phone.

It was the man’s car keys.

What kind of perfect storm is that? Keys dropped right into the sewer?

Oh, boy! Everyone who heard that sort of let out a sympathy groan. Tourist or local. Was like a collective groan.

You can lose your phone and get a new one. Totally stinks but it’s not the worst.

But your car keys? Dang. How are you going to get home? And maybe the house key attached?

A perfect Sunday in Boston for them. Until it wasn’t.

This little scenario rippled up the blocks.

Nope, it wasn’t a murder. Or a crime. But it rippled just the same.

I heard suggestions, “Call the city!”

And, “Call the cops!”

The next block up, a couple of waiters having a smoke outside the restaurant were like, “City ain’t gonna help ’em. Cops ain’t gonna help ’em.”

Matter of factly.

In my head I was like, “This is soooo New England.”

A few things struck me.

Everyone that passed by the man actually felt his pain. They put themselves in his shoes at that very moment. Because they could actually imagine themselves in that very same situation. Losing their keys in the sewer.


Everyone was sort of thinking, “Oh, the poor bugger. Thank God, it’s not me but I’m still feeling really bad for him. I’d like to help.”

There’s the rub.

If we can identify with a fellow human being who lost his car keys in a sewer grate then why can’t we identify with all of the others?

Why can’t we feel the pain of others? Put ourselves in a different pair of shoes for a moment? Actually imagine ourselves in the very same situation? It would even be okay to think, “Oh, the poor thing. It’s not me but I feel really bad. I’d like to help.”

That’s compassion. That’s humanbeingism at its best. Wouldn’t it be swell to see a bit more of the best?



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Sometimes I just don’t know what to say. Maybe that is why I write. I am a talker but once in a while I just run out of words.

Especially when I don’t understand things and words completely fail me. And sometimes even when I try to write. Like right now.

Like Boston. I don’t understand why someone would set off bombs designed to maim and kill innocent people.

I do understand that the evil doer succeeded. I am reading the stories. Evil killed a sweet eight year old boy named Martin. Evil also maimed his sister with a leg amputation. And evil injured his mother’s brain. A family destroyed forever. They were just waiting for Dad at the finish line.

So, I understand that this evil succeeded. I just don’t understand why.

I got choked up reading about one brother calling his mother to tell her that he was badly hurt. He and his brother, who were cheering their buddy on near the end of the race, both lost a leg.

There are going to be plenty of stories. About the three dead and the many that were severely wounded. And we will hear wonderful examples of bravery, generosity and spirit. That will lift our own downtrodden spirit. But the reason for our faith in humanity needing restoration will always be a hurtful reminder of a horrible day.

Little Martin Richard from Dorchester was a beautiful, innocent child. Who just wanted to cheer his daddy on in a big race.

Why on earth and why in Heaven should he have died? Because I do not understand. And I will never, ever understand.

I guess I really don’t want to understand.

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