It can be found here, but I’ll repost it here on LC.
Boston. Fucking horrible.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
There are always two sorts of ways that these things can go. You’ll see both, always; the question is which is stronger.
First, you have the desire to lash out. The desire for vengeance. The world has been upended, YOUR world has been upended, and you want to make it balanced again. Even if you can’t go back to the way things were, you can “fix the balance” and restore your perception of a just world by punishing the person who did it.
That has a lot to do with the American reaction to 9/11. (Which was and is entirely understandable, and shared by many people around the world.)
The second, though, is what Patton talks about: the people running towards the blast. It’s that desire to stick together and help each other out in dangerous, scary, and difficult circumstances. It’s the desire to prove that you’re better, that you’re stronger, and that you care about your fellow humans. It’s about empathy; about rejecting the attackers’ treatment of lives as objects by showing that you treat other people as people.
That ALSO has a lot to do with the American reaction to 9/11. I don’t think people necessarily understand it as much. Vengeance against the other is easier to grasp than empathy with the members of your community and nation.
Yet I believe that it’s the empathic reaction that is ultimately the most effective. It shows the terrorists that you’re beyond terror. It shows that attacking you will only make you STRONGER. It’s a full and complete repudiation of their treatment of your fellow man as objects.
It is the triumph of the Good, and I believe that that’s where true security comes from.