I was all set for this Wonder post to be about baseball. I have plenty to say about finding wonder on a field full of Little League Players, after our first game last night. But then I saw a news story about a woman who was injured in the Boston Marathon Bombing. Camera crews rolled as she was to meet the four people who took care of her on site, for the first time after that day. It occurred to me, watching her hug and weep with these virtual strangers, there is plenty of wonder to be found in the aftermath of such tragedy.
As for the young woman on The Today Show, she said there were two people in the medic tent that gave her the strength to hang on to life. My understanding is that these were just regular race volunteers, but they had just the courage and presence of mind to do and say what was needed to save this woman’s life.
Then there were the people who ran toward her and others, not away, when a bomb went off. I’m not sure I’d have the courage to run into danger, but these people did and because of them, her life and her leg were saved. One man tied off the injury and the doctors at the hospital said it was because of this simple act that she got to keep her leg.
One stranger. One brave thing. One life changed forever.
That’s some wonder.
How about the fact that there were multiple Law Enforcement agencies working together, almost seamlessly, to protect the citizens of Massachusetts and apprehend terrorists quickly and nearly without incident? We always hear stories of Police problems. We often hear about how state, town and federal officials can’t play nice together and that it’s a detriment to our safety. Not this time. And the citizens? They bravely did whatever it took for these Professionals to get their job done. No one reduced the city to vigilante justice. No one fought with or criticized the law about how to get results. The people of Boston and surrounding areas decided to trust the people who are trained to keep them safe.
What we don’t hear enough of are situations like last week, where everyone put ego aside and did their jobs so well that we can all breathe a little easier today.
There’s more wonder.
Finally, how about all the stories of people, law enforcement and bystander alike, racing to the aid of someone in need. Just google Boston Marathon and story after story will come up of everyday hero.
Like Carlos Arredondo, the man immortalized in the photo that circulated of him, cowboy hat on, pushing Jeff Bauman in a wheelchair. He had run toward Mr. Bauman as soon as he saw the injuries. He ran toward him to help. Arredondo was just there to honor his son, fallen in Iraq. Then, when faced with terror, he jumped in to help. There are countless stories like Arredondo’s that day.
My favorite, a little thing perhaps in the face of such enormity, but a good deed that I think represents the basic human spirit we all take for granted but should really work harder to cultivate and recognize. I’m talking about Officer John Bradley of the Brookline Police Department, who took a minute to go buy milk for a family on lockdown. The family had a 17 month old and they were worried about how long they’d be in their homes with a baby and no milk. Officer Bradley was worried too. So, he bought them some milk and walked it right up to their door.
You may choose to ask why he wasn’t busier working to catch a bomber. You may ask if it was safe to go to the store, why didn’t they just let these people go themselves. You may say the victims weren’t really saved because now they have no legs or you may choose to focus on those we lost. You may ask a million questions that focus on all the wrong things.
But the world if full of wrong things. The world is full of bombings and senseless violence and people who perpetuate both. There is plenty of opportunity to find the worst in people or to see the bad in the world. I’m not saying ignore it. I’m just saying there is more.
Today, I’m focusing on the simple human kindness of Officer Bradley and the tremendous heroics of Carlos Arredondo and the amazingly strong human spirit of all but two people who were present at that marathon Monday April 15th, because therein lies the wonder.
And don’t we all need a little more of that today?
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.