COMMENTARY | There truly aren’t words which can accurately describe how most people are probably feeling in the aftermath of the tragedy that occurred recently during the running of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Images and first-hand accounts of the events surrounding the detonation of two bombs near the finish line have filled people in the United States and around the world with feelings of horror, grief, sadness, and anger.
Unfortunately for all of us, tragic events such as this occur much more frequently than most of us would ever care to admit.
In the wake of the bombings in Boston, there is no doubt that billions of people in the world are now searching for the answer to a single question.
With so much brain power invested in such a simple question, one might think the answer would be quickly forthcoming.
Sadly, that will probably not be the case.
The question may be simple, but the answer will likely be more complex than any of us can currently conceive. And the process by which this question is finally answered will also be much longer than most of us probably want.
As we try to move forward in our daily lives, grappling with recent events and grieving for the victims, a desire for answers will most likely eat away at our consciousness. Just as our minds are haunted by images from the marathon’s finish line, our subconscious will likely be haunted by a void in which our understanding of the event hangs in the balance.
Certainly our desire to find an answer must in some way be associated with our instinctive struggle to survive. Finding an answer to the question “why” helps quantify the likelihood of similar events, which affects how each of us perceive our own personal safety and that of our loved ones.
In this context, it’s important to step back for a moment and consciously try to override our instincts and realize that easy and quick answers probably don’t exist. The tragedy occurred. What remains is the process of collecting evidence, detaining suspects, and letting the process of justice run its course.
While we grieve for the victims and do everything in our power to help the injured rehabilitate from their injuries, we must consciously try to avoid formulating incomplete or inaccurate conclusions about a complex event. Drawing assumptions from fragments of evidence and forming conclusions from these fragments simply cannot fully and accurately answer the question “why.”
Although our instincts and minds may yearn for answers, we must exercise rational and balanced control over our own domains until the process of justice is complete. Only then can a thorough analysis be performed and well-reasoned conclusions be drawn.
It’s certain that most of us did not understand the “why” of 9/11 in the hours, days, and weeks after that horrific event.
Although the Boston Marathon Bombing at this stage appears to be on a much smaller scale, the answer to the question that we all so deeply desire may be equally, if not more, complex.
Now is the time for grieving, healing, and execution of the justice system.
Later is the time for conclusions about the motivations behind the attack.
We simply don’t have all of the available information right now, and we probably won’t for a long period of time.