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Opinion

Bombings bring perspective

April 18, 2013

I was going to write this week’s column about my weekend trip to see my aunt and her family, but then the explosions in Boston happened and I didn’t feel much like writing about seeing a musical and shopping.

You see my weekend trip was partially spent in Boston. It doesn’t mean much as I left early in the weekend, but I couldn’t help but get shaken up.

New York City is a world hub of commerce, politics and journalism, not to speak of entertainment. These are the very reasons why I have always wanted to move here. But people who mean harm are attracted to New York City, too. Sept. 11, 2001, opened eyes to terrorism and the horror it can create. I was frightened of terrorists then, and I’m frightened of terrorists now. Not to make light of a serious situation, but I am also terrified of a zombie apocalypse, if only because I know I wouldn’t be much help to others and myself.

Anyway, I knew moving to New York City would mean increased risk of harm. However, what is the point of life if I live in fear of something that may never happen? Living outside one’s comfort zone often results in the best experiences that would not have happened if that first step hadn’t been taken.

Needless to say, when I read about the Boston Marathon explosions, all the fear of terrorism I had worked to conceal came rushing back to me. Every time I checked CNN or refreshed my Twitter feed, a new wave of tears threatened to spill over.

I am angry that these explosions happened, and my heart is broken for the broken bodies of the victims. But testimonies of heroism continue to pour in. After the explosions occurred, footage shows spectators running toward them, not away. They jumped in to help, with no regard to the fact that there may be subsequent explosions and they are putting themselves at risk. Many marathoners were reported to continue running past the finish line right to the hospital to donate blood, and area businesses and residents offered free services to runners and spectators alike.

These tales warmed my heart and reminded me of the overwhelming inherent goodness in people on a day when everything seemed awful and scary. That’s the point of terrorism, to instill fear and panic. Mourn, but don’t stop living your life to the fullest. Watch the news, but know when to turn it off and take new information with a grain of salt. And hug everyone you love. I really wish I could hug my parents and sister, but I’ll have to wait until May. Until then, here’s a written hug.

Amanda White is a junior majoring in journalism. She appreciates good books, good style, and good conversation.