The Boston Marathon is a huge gathering for the sake of doing something none of us needs to do. It's a race, and yeah, someone will be fastest, but everyone who finishes it wins. A Marathon is an exuberance.
When the bombs go off and the guns fire, we all duck for cover. And we know what happens next: first the media run the same film loops dubbed with the same breathless commentary. And then someone announces that we're taking new security measures.
I'm sure all that's good. We need media, and it's just prudent to take security measures.
But it's not enough. If our response to terrorism is to feel afraid, the terrorists have won.
Which is why I am going to respond with joy. And more exuberance.
So here is what I will do: this Sunday, I am going for a run - I'm calling it a Joy Run - and I'm inviting my friends to join me. We'll run 2.62 miles (a tenth of a marathon - I'm not a great runner, so don't ask for more) and I'm going to ask them all to make a donation to the Red Cross or the United Way or another organization that exists to promote the public good and cares for people who are suffering.
If you know me, you'll know where to find me. If not, rather than having you call me and ask if you can donate, let me just urge you to do the same thing wherever you are.
There will always be people who want to limit life, who say no to life, who mail suspicious packages and kill strangers. I feel sorry for them; may God bless them by helping them learn to say yes to life, love, and wisdom. Because they exist, we'll always need to be vigilant.
But because we exist, we should not forget to live. Brightly, joyfully, exuberantly.
And so, this Sunday, inspired by those who ran exuberantly in the Boston Marathon, my friends and I are going to run. For my life, and for theirs, and wishing life and joy to everyone, everywhere.