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Jewish Journal

Humanity Among Carnage: The Boston Marathon

by Beit T'shuvah

April 16, 2013 | 1:18 pm

Photo credit: cbsnews.com

By Michael Welch

Whenever I hear about a tragedy, I ask myself, “What would I do if I witnessed it firsthand?” This is not as selfish as it may seem; I just want to know whether or not I am one of the courageous, kind, and humane people that I always hear about. What is going through one’s head after they finish running 26 plus miles and rush to the hospital to give blood? I would imagine that an event such as yesterday’s bombing would leave many in complete shock, disoriented in thought and action. But yet their legs stay underneath them as they don’t miss a beat in taking on the roll of the helper. If your soul is good, do you help in these situations? There is no training that one could partake in to ready themselves for something like this, thus the human soul must be intact to be a part of piecing back together such mayhem. If a man is compelled to run into an area where a bomb has been detonated and immediately starts making tourniquets and moving on to the next person to assist he must be a tad crazy… right? I think those of us that would share in this piece of insanity would call it sacrifice, and others would call it heroic.

An employer gave his staff the credit by stating; "My coworkers and staff deserve a lot of credit: not one blinked when asked, not one went home when they could— those not working came in to help." This approach to helping those in need eliminates the bureaucratic massage that I feel has come to be the ideal that cultures had begun to adopt. It’s refreshing to see that communities still come together, it reminds me that crazy is good, and most of all allows me to have a part in helping another because I am obligated. If we begin to view this as part of the work in exchange for our existence it removes the question. We no longer are asking ourselves what would we do, we are asking the question of what else can be done.

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