A meme that has been circulating in the wake of the Boston bombings is “look for the helpers”.
Look for the first responders who ran towards the explosions to stabilise and evacuate the wounded.
Look for the runners, exhausted runners who had just completed one of the harder marathons, helping the wounded; pushing wheelchairs; offering shoulders.
Look for the people, some of whom came straight from the marathon, who inundated the blood bank to the extent that they had to turn people away with the message “we have enough”.
Look for the residents offering beds, couches, mattresses and floors to total strangers.
Look for the big heroics but don’t miss the little ones; the shared phones and borrowed clothes.
Look for humanity. Because when something happens as big and terrible and wrong as this was you realise that for all our arguing and different beliefs most people just want everyone to be ok.
When you see a fellow human being injured and in need of help you don’t ask “are they gay?”; “are they here legally?”; “do they believe in my God?”; “are they claiming benefits to which they are not entitled?”; “are they republican or monarchist?”. You respond. You offer what aid you can, even if all that is is a hand to hold or a voice to attract more help.
There are some who believe that within us all there are two wolves fighting. One is glorious and good; the other evil and bad. The wolf that wins is the one you feed. Events like yesterday’s explosions show that these wolves can live in a whole society too. Look for the helpers. Feed the good wolf. Starve the bad.