Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To the Light

"Do not go gentle into that good night.
 Rage, rage against the dying of the light"
                                       -Dylan Thomas

My heart hurts for what happened in Boston. Do we really live in a world where we cannot go out for a run without the risk of being blown to bits? I'm mean, really!

I'm a runner. I'm not a marathon runner, nor will I ever be, and that is okay with me. I'm content to just get out there and run my granny-pace 5K because running makes me run to the light when sitting at home on the couch whining keeps me in darkness. So I run. I run to focus on the light and also to keep from running away. I run to prove to myself  (and my cardiologist) that I am a strong person
-  that I'm healed, healthy and whole.

I'm also a social worker in a level one trauma center. Every day I see people whose lives have "blown up." I'm there when people's lives change in an instant. I have sat with families as they have cried and asked why their loved one was now gone. I have walked the floor with a hurt baby in my arms just like I did when my own kids where babies. I have assured an assault victim that nobody has the right to hurt her. I have comforted a young mother who miscarried and tried to convince here it wasn't her fault. I've promised car accident victims that I would find their mom for them and then held their hand until she got there.

It doesn't sound like much does it? I know it doesn't, and a lot of the time I feel helpless and powerless and want to rage at the injustice of it all. I question this world which seems to have gone absolutely crazy, and I question my abilities as a social worker because I can't fix 99% of the things I'm asked to deal with, but then again the most common compliment I get is not, "you fixed everything for me" but rather "you were so nice! Thank you for being so nice."  I have come to realize that being nice, holding a hand, just listening, are my ways of raging against the darkness. They are just moments, but they add up, and if somebody who, in the midst of tragedy, can experience kindness, then maybe I'm not so powerless after all.

I can't even imagine the powerlessness and helplessness the people of Boston are feeling right now, but I look at the pictures of people running TOWARD the blast to help others, runners who continued running, after they had completed the marathon, to the hospital to give blood, people who opened their homes and provided food, shelter and kindness to others, and it gives me hope. I believe that is our true nature as human beings, what we were created to do for each other. I'm also saddened that it takes a bomb going off to reveal it. Maybe we don't reveal that part of ourselves because, like me in my trauma center, we feel like it isn't enough. I'm here to tell you, it is. Just being kind, being nice, holding a hand, listening, makes a huge impact!

Just stop and think what the world would be like if we sent out the love, prayers, hope and kindness we are sending to Boston right know, to the world every single day.  That is how we rage against the darkness, that is how we spread light, that is how we refuse to go gentle into that good night. 

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