24 April 2013

A statement from Bobbi Gibb on the Boston Marathon attacks

Note: Ms. Gibb first ran the Boston Marathon in 1966, when it was commonly believed that women were physically incapable of running long distances. In doing so, she did more than make a statement as a runner; she became an icon for women who questioned the status quo. This year, Ms. Gibb was an honored guest at the Boston Marathon, serving as one of the event's grand marshals. -BB

          First of all I want to say that my heart goes out to those who were injured or killed and their families. I hold in my loving thoughts and my healing prayers all those who were and continue to be affected by the horror that occurred on Monday. I want to everything and anything I can to help.

            To me the Boston Marathon has always been and it continues to be, a celebration of life. It’s something that occurs every spring in Boston. It’s a celebration of the renewal of life— the daffodils poking through the earth, the forsythia in bloom. Even more fundamental than a sporting event, to me, the Boston Marathon symbolizes this celebration of life and the celebration of the human spirit and it continues to do so.
            Out of all the catastrophe that occurred that day what was really inspiring, and what we need to look at and take with us, is the love and compassion and empathy that spontaneously emerged from all the people there. Each and every person was a hero— the runners helping other runners, the spectators helping the injured, the police, the doctors, the nurses, the volunteers along the course, the National Guard, the Boston Athletic Association officials— everyone spontaneously worked together, without anyone telling them what to do, just worked together to help those who were injured and to help anyone in need.
            Thousands of runners were stranded without any money, warm clothes or keys. And what happened? People spontaneously took off their own jackets and gave them to the runners and took them into their homes and gave them beds and money and clothes and food. No one told them to do this; it was a spontaneous outpouring of love and I believe that this what is fundamental to human nature. This is what we’re all about as human beings. This is what it is to be American to work together for the common good, to help each other. This is the fundamental premise of any valid ethical, moral or religious system— to do for others what you would have them do for you, and to do it spontaneously and with love, and to treat your neighbor as yourself. And that’s what we saw on Monday, that’s what the 99% is all about. This other stuff is pathology…. It’s something gone wrong.
            Just as we’re all capable of getting cancer, we’re all capable of getting emotionally, spiritually, mentally or physically sick and that’s what we’re seeing in a very small percentage of the population who are acting out of a mistaken belief. It’s a dysfunction and we need to find a way of healing it, of stopping it, and of finding and dealing with people who would do us harm. The security forces, police, FBI, and all the people who cooperated to help, exhibited intelligence and heroism in doing what needed to be done, quickly and efficiently and our gratitude goes out to these dedicated men and women.
            And now it is up to us to carry on and to continue to reaffirm what is real in the human spirit, that is, love and care and empathy and this human ability to work together to help one another, to do what needs doing in the face of violence, greed, perversion and all the things that would divert us from the true nature of what it is to be human. From around the world come messages of love, caring, sympathy, offers to help, from all countries of the world and it is this spirit of friendship, and love and caring that we need emphasize and to continue and to strengthen. This is really what we need to take away from the horrific events on April 15th.

    Thank you for giving me a chance to say what I think and feel. My heart goes out to everyone, here and around the world, with love and gratitude for the goodness of the human spirit, even as I feel great sadness for the hurt, pain, suffering and death of the victims and their families.


Many Regards,


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