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Many of the facts about the events in Boston this week are still yet to be revealed, and many, we may never learn. But watching it all unfold in the media and on social networks has led me to a profoundly disturbing observation.

I keep seeing people of all ages posting "What is happening to this country?!" or "What is the world coming to?!" To these and others, I have to pose this question: to what country are you referring? Which world are you talking about?

This mythical time and place where evil never reared its head and no one ever committed acts of unfathomable horror never existed. Are you talking about Mumbai in 2008? NYC in 2001? Surely not Oklahoma in 1995? Lockerbie in 1988? And on and on...

The seeds of violent acts are not sown in waves but in drops. Every day, intolerance, neglect, and poverty stoke the flames of anger inside young men and women around the world. Every day, someone in this country doesn't get the ongoing help they need for a mental illness or can't afford their medication. Every day, there are thousands of young people whose spirits are broken by their families or their peers or their adopted countries because they are different.

The reason "What is happening to this country?!" disturbs me so much is that it implies that all of this hasn't been happening all along. It implies that we didn't KNOW it was happening all along, or that we forgot. Or ignored it.

So how does it all stop? We remain vigilant. We keep our eyes open and look out for one another.

But more importantly, we remain vigilant in times of peace and guard against the apathy that leads to atrocity. We remain vigilant in loving each other and lifting each other up and empowering one another to see love and seek help and find peace. Every day. So that we don't have to ask "what is this world coming to?"

We will already know because we were paying attention.

~anony mouse~

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