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Editorial: Our lights wonít go out

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 17th, 2013

After this week, I sincerely hope Iím blessed enough to be compelled to write on a more cheerful topic.

Iíve seen a few deplorable things in my short time on this earth; acts of senseless, senseless violence. Iíve watched acts of terrorism unfold, Iíve seen shootings, witnessed war and covered the murder of a young girl who had only begun to live before her life was snuffed out.

I work with a youth group at my church in Torrington and bear witness to their struggles with bullying right in our own backyard. Being a teenager once myself, I know what they say compared to what they really feel and experience can sometimes be just the tip of the iceberg.

Then the events of the Boston Marathon bombing transpired. During a lovely Tuesday afternoon, two explosions tore through the euphoric atmosphere at the Boston Marathon finish line, leaving Lord knows how many injured or dead.

My sister and her boyfriend live in the area, and I was very relieved to hear they were both all right.

Whoeverís responsible for this atrocity made hundreds of innocent people from all around the world pay something they never owed. Some had the joy and empowerment of finishing the grueling race torn from their grasp. Others paid with their blood, their limbs, their lives. The survivors and their loved ones will never be the same; some paid the grief of losing loved ones or their sense of security well beyond repair. Some runners may never enjoy their passion again.

That final stretch of road looked like a war zone. There wasnít a lot of debris in the shots Iíve seen, but there was so much blood and chaos. Thereís a photo out there of a man who I believe may have been a runner with bleeding shreds where the bottom of his leg used to be. Itís one of those things thatís burned into my memory. I canít even begin to fathom the pain and suffering on those streets Tuesday afternoon.

I was talking with one of my co-workers about what happened. They went on about how attitudes toward violence have changed, society has deteriorated and at the rate weíre going, weíll end up destroying ourselves and soon.

While those are valid thoughts, Iím adamant to disagree. You can say I see the world through rose-colored glasses, and perhaps thatís true. But Iím not denying thereís a whole lot in this world that demonstrates pure evil. I believe the worldís off-balance, but not in the way you might think.

At this point, I canít tell you whoís responsible for that awful Tuesday. Maybe itís one person. Maybe itís a thousand. To paraphrase a sentiment from comedian Patton Oswalt, whatever the case may be in terms of the perpetrator(s), theyíre still a very small part of this world. They just happen to make a lot of noise.

This minority can cause an incredible amount of pain, misery and death on the law-abiding populace. Their acts often reach well beyond themselves. That cannot be disputed. Their crimes and their names are immortalized, infamous and a scar that may never quite heal.

Thereís more to the story, though. Every single intrepid Boston police officer answered the call of duty, rushing in where others fled. Google set up a person tracker as a way for survivors to let distant loved ones know they were alive. God knows how many volunteers stepped up and donated necessary blood, money or even lend a helping hand in ways weíll never see or regard.

Let me give you an example. I was talking with Jane Carlson, Platte Countyís emergency management coordinator, about the snowstorm last week. During the conversation, she told me there was a couple from Montana who needed to be in Denver to tend to a loved one while the storm was raging. Jane said WYDOTís John Benton made a few calls and made the trip happen. The couple was escorted by plow to Cheyenne, where another plow took over and brought them to the state line.

Again, though the world as I see it tends to lean less toward pure evil, infamous events seem to garner more attention in the annals of history.

The good in the world is a silent, humble light, and is often seen only when darkness is at its strongest. We would do well to remember, though, that the little lights of good deeds all over the world, no matter their outcome, big or small, the product of many or a single human being, whisper or roar, will always burn and always outnumber the blackest of wrongs.

Our lights wonít go out. This I believe.

ďWhen I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ĎLook for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.í To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my motherís words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers, so many caring people in this world.Ē Ė The late, great Mr. Rogers

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