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Our hearts are in Boston

By: Laura Paton, section editor for literature & art (lpaton2@uic.edu)

On Monday, April 15, I was at the Writing Center, checking my e-mail because I didn’t have a tutoring session. As I usually do, I also opened up Facebook.  One of the first things I saw was that one of my friends had shared a news piece about the Boston Marathon. I didn’t look too closely at the title before I clicked, and was shocked upon opening the link and reading the article. Later on, when I was on the elliptical at the gym, it took most of what I had to not break down crying while watching the footage on the televisions.

I called my boyfriend when I got back from the gym, and asked him if he had heard about it. He hadn’t yet, but as soon as he saw what happened, he said to me “If anything ever happens…to either of us…..make sure to go to the Red Cross alive and well website.” We then proceeded to stay on the phone for about an hour, not really saying anything, but both of us watching the events unfold on our respective televisions.

That’s when it hit me. None of us are immune to violence. We think we’re safe, we go on about our daily routine,  but you never know when something like this can happen. Now, I’m not saying we should all be like my mother, who sent me a Facebook message urging me to not go anywhere near the Chicago marathon (even though the next one isn’t until November).  However, mass incidents of violence have become an increasing problem in our society – the Sandy Hook incident, the Dark Knight Rises shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and many more.

I found out later that same day that one of my friends who is from Boston had a family member who was volunteering at the marathon. They ended up being okay, but learning that made this tragedy sink in that much more.

I could discuss to no end the problems our country has with violence, how human nature seems to be going down the tube, but what would that accomplish? I would essentially be parroting what everyone else has been saying. I feel that the best thing to do in times of tragedy is to recover and find ourselves again.

So with that I say that the one thing that gives me hope after this incident is that so many people rushed to help others. Most people have heard about the many runners who crossed the finish line and kept running to the nearest hospital to donate blood. That right there is what human nature is. People often react to these bad things that happen by saying “People are horrible” (me included). But I think it is our reaction to these tragedies that really shows genuine human compassion– and in my opinion, people are kind, altruistic, and caring.

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