John F. Kennedy said: “The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.” We live in a strange world; and an even more peculiar time. We live in a world where within the span of a day, one can experience the greatest joy, and the most crushing sadness. Sometimes, the higher we feel, the harder the fall. Yesterday’s Boston Marathon bombing is a prime example of the nature of our lives. At one moment, people were cheering; standing on tip-toes to see loved ones crossing the finish line; then within seconds, everything changed. Joy and expectation morphed into fear, and panic, when multiple explosions killed three, and injured over 130 people.
In every tragedy, there are those who would take an opportunity to politicize. During CNN’s coverage of the Boston Bombing, guest Peter Bergin said this: “…what kind of explosives were used? For instance, if it was hydrogen peroxide; this is somewhat of a signature of Al Qaida. If it was more conventional explosives…that might be some other kind of right-wing extremists.”
Shocking as it seems, it doesn’t look like it was MSNBC that would be first to speculate, or make reference to, “right-wing extremists.” CNN beat them to the punch.
As of yet, there is no evidence to suggest any sort of involvement of any kind of “right-wing extremist;” for that matter, a suspect is only now rumored to be in some kind of custody. So little is known about what happened yesterday, because of the nature of the incident. Confusion is king, at this moment. But those on the Left are always so quick to point fingers to the Right.
Remember back to the day, and subsequent days, following the shooting of Gabby Giffords? Remember how quickly it was speculated that her shooter was a member of the “right-wing?” Remember how quickly Sarah Palin was condemned for her campaign map that featured crosshairs over certain districts? Within moments, those on the Left had pinned blame on “right-wing extremists;” calling for a ban on heated rhetoric on the part of Conservatives, while completely ignoring rhetoric from the Left.
This sort of behavior is typical; but it shouldn’t be. A tragedy like this deserves a semblance of courtesy on everyone’s part. What happened yesterday will leave an indelible mark on our history, similarly to 9/11, and the Oklahoma City Bombing. Life is a mixture of joy and tragedy; and when the time comes for grief, politics should not be the first item on the agenda.
We need to keep in sight what is current. We need to remember joy in the midst of tragedy. We need to use what has happened in order that we may become more closely stitched together. The Dalai Lama said: “There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”
The Boston Bombing has killed and injured many; it has hurt our nation; but we cannot allow it to pull us apart. Pushing a political agenda during a crisis like this is toxic. Our minds should be focused on prayer for the victims and their families, not partisan speculation.