Once again we’ve had tragedy invade our lives. Once again we’ve had a beautiful sunny day, a day of celebration for those in Boston, a day of athletic competition for the runners in the marathon, a day that should’ve ended in happiness and pride of achievement ended up ending in death, injury, panic and destruction. It became a day that ended up with us just asking why.

I’m getting worn out as names like Columbine, Oklahoma City, Newtown, New York, Aurora, London, Madrid and now Boston, get added to an ever growing list of cities (some I had heard of, some I had not) that man made tragedy has touched. We watch in the horror of the moment. We see the blood, the injured and the bodies. And all we can do is just ask why.

We look at the aftermath, and watch as people say that we need to be united all the while taking the tragedy and putting their spin on it. Using it to promote an agenda even before the bodies are cold. Blame gets thrown around, despite not knowing what actually happened. We take sides, we bicker and draw lines in the sand. All because we want to know why.

Talk turns to how to prevent it from happening again, we listen to plans and ideas. We listen to people who tell us if we do this or that we can stop something from happening. We listen to people who promise 100% solutions in a 95% world. Technology and laws are created that help us find and punish the whos, guard the wheres, predict the whens, and detect the whats. Yet none can find out the why.

At this point in this particular case only the who is left to be identified. Only then can we hope to get the why. Thing is, likely it won’t make sense to us. The whys of these types of whos rarely do. The why that caused them to do these senseless acts will never make sense to people who would never consider doing something like it. We end up wondering, why the why doesn’t make sense.

If you’re confused reading this, imagine how confused I was writing it. Honestly this whole thing is confusing. Why somebody would do something like this? I just can’t wrap my head around it. There doesn’t seem to be anything that could possibly make sense of this whole thing. Yet, the why seems to be one of the more important things to know whether we understand it or not.


Originally published April 17, 2013