April 19, 2013: It Could Have Been Otherwise

The press conference of official leaders – governor, police, U.S. attorney — rooted itself gratitude, not grievance or vengeance.  It could have been otherwise.

So many more who lost limb, could have lost life, were it not for those who ran toward ash and chaos.  It could have been otherwise.

The Twitter feeds and Facebook accounts and media coverage quieted, perhaps even silenced, a collective surrender to the gravity of the situation and a collective dedication to wise action towards safety.  It could have been otherwise.

Spitting venom in the form of bullets and explosives, this young person bleeding out could have died at the end of a police officer’s gun, yet he is at one of the world’s best medical trauma units.  It could have been otherwise.

There is so much about this day and this week that I wish was otherwise.  So much.

Let our system of justice hold this boy – he is the same age of as my son; I cannot call him a man – accountable for the devastating harm he has caused.  No holds barred in this regard.

And let us hold that very same system of justice, — as well as the media, and our own need to process the collective trauma we have experienced – accountable that it not punish him for being an immigrant, or a Muslim, or lost in the seas of family dissolution and dysfunction that finds too many young people clutching at extremes.

Let us not forget that we can hold people accountable, people who have done terrible things, murderous things, even this human being named Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, while holding them in a wider ocean of compassion, not of our making, but of our embodying.

Not only is his soul dependent upon this.  So is ours.

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