When something terrible happens, we rush to the healing station. We’re told to find hope out of despair and peace out of destruction. Within hours of the Boston Marathon bombing, there were memes on FB reminding us that anyone who ‘messes with Boston’ will pay heartily. Three people dead, a dozen with lost limbs, people in critical care, hurt, damaged and terrified and we are making and looking at revenge memes on Facebook?
In the old days in the ‘hood, a young man would be dead just minutes before the T-shirts with his picture and R.I.P. would be rolling off the press.
I don’t agree with this. I think we should sit still and let ourselves be overwhelmed, baffled, and sad. A crime was committed, people were murdered. There needs to be an investigation and an arrest. We don’t need an organizing response, we need the criminal justice system to swing into high gear.
And meanwhile, we should just stay in this moment of awfulness. Be immersed in it and give what happened its proper due. We shouldn’t be so greedy for normalcy that we skip the part where we are appropriately stunned, frightened, and grieving.
We need to slow down and let it sink in. Let it all sink in. And then decide what’s next.