malefriendscrpdI live in the suburbs of Boston. I’m still reeling from the events of April 15 and the terror events at the Boston Marathon.

I received a text message that my nephew had just crossed the finish line in record time. The brief moment of cheer was followed by anguish as a news alert came through about the explosion. I had other family members and friends at the site. I am grateful that all are fine and escaped with relatively minor injuries. I know so many people who did not receive the same good news about their loved ones.

Today someone sent me a link to a speech the Robert F. Kennedy gave in 1968 on hearing of the assassination of Martin Luther King. In part, he stated, “Our lives on this planet are too short, the work to be done is too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in this land of ours. Of course we cannot vanish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember — if only for a time — that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek — as do we — nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in  happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment that they can.

Surely this bond of common fate, surely this bond of common goals can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look around at those of us, of our fellow man, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.

Tennyson wrote in Ulysses

[Moved earth and heaven,] that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will.”

Click here to read the entire speech.

We each have a role to play in creating a safer and more compassionate world. In may simply start with a smile, a nod, a word of encouragement. We need to come together for the common good of all of us.

Friends photo available from Shutterstock