In the wake of the tragedy that was the attack on the Boston Marathon, we all have different ways of dealing with the mix of emotions that we are feeling. The sadness, anger, and grief that this senseless attack evokes is being met with an amazing outpouring of love and support from Bostonians (and fellow Americans alike), opening their hearts and homes to complete strangers in this time of need. Volunteers have flooded the Red Cross to make blood donations. Restaurants are offering free meals to those families currently displaced. Donations are being made to charities to help fund relief efforts. It seems like everyone wants to help. If you are still looking for a way to pitch in a helping hand, you can check out Boston.com for a list of ways.
For myself, as a Bostonian for over 5 years now, I am saddened by the events that have occurred in the city that I call home. I knew friends that were both participating in and watching the race. My brother was mere blocks away at school. Luckily, they are all safe and accounted for. However, not everyone was so lucky. With three casualties and so many more people hurt, it is hard to read the stories and watch the news and see what such a terrible act can do. With that being said, I am inspired by how quickly those around me have risen up to do something, anything to help. My only wish is that after the chaos has died down and the news picks up on the next big thing, we do not let that sense of urgency to be part of something bigger go away. While it might come off a bit preachy, I urge everyone to do the following:
1. Donate blood. Not just when something like this occurs, but regularly and without prompting. I have type “O Positive” blood and I’ve always tried to donate at least once a year.
2. Start volunteering your time to a cause. Whether it’s spending an hour per week in a soup kitchen, acting as a Big Brother or Sister, holding events that sponsor the Wounded Warriors Project, or raising money for cancer research, anything helps. We can all benefit from watching a little less TV and helping a little more.
3. Get involved in your community. It’s pretty straightforward, but many of us (myself included) get so wrapped up in our lives that we forget how many great things (and people) are all around us.
4. Be Calm. Seriously, panicking helps no one. Fear mongering is petty. In the words of the band Fun. from their song “Be Calm” off the album Aim and Ignite:
I know you feel like you are breaking down.
Oh I know that it gets so hard sometimes,
and everything’s wrong
It just gets so hard sometimes
Finally, this wouldn’t be a true music column without a music review. As we all begin to cope with the tragedy that has occurred, Boston based musician Shadwell decided to call upon his own talents to craft a new song last night inspired by yesterday’s events. The song titled, “Be Still”, is dedicated to first responders and runners at the Boston Marathon bombing. A simple acoustic number that holds a great deal of emotion, “Be Still” reminds us that the good in this world will always outweigh the bad. As much of Boston feels in disarray after yesterday’s bombing, Shadwell’s words hold a lot of weight as he states, “I hear a rumble and it shakes my town into a jumble”. However, Shadwell hits the nail on the head as he closes out his lullaby to Boston, "Stadiums and Finish Lines/Will again hold good times". I couldn’t agree more.
Shadwell has made “Be Still” free for download on Soundcloud. Be sure to grab a copy of this inspirational song today.
”Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city." - President Barack Obama