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The City and Tragedy

I wanted to drop a quick note here on the blog about city and tragedy. Really, it’s about community and tragedy, but it’s a city that was most recently hit, so that’s where I’ll start from.

First of all, tragedy is an every day, every moment thing. Sometimes we get something so horrific, something that is incomprehensible and that activity tends to happen where there’s some form of density or concentration. This is the Newtown, the 9/11, now the Boston. Yet, we also have the slow burning tragedies, where over time, people are dying slow deaths, or quick, but sudden deaths. Here you have your Chicago, some say New Orleans, and really any place abandoned and left high and dry. There are so many of those, the ghettos, barrios, trailer parks, and deserted farms and factories of the world.

Dreams deferred and dying on a regular basis.

Yet, this is the time when community and place come to the forefront. When people offer their homes, their money, their blood, their tears, their hugs, and their social media platforms.

Some have already used this time or series of events to tell people to run from the cities, run from each other, to retreat and go away and blame.

Yet, I’m inspired by the runners whose first instinct was to run straight to the hospital and give their tired blood. To the well-known first responders, the people our municipal taxes go to so they can be there when trouble comes suddenly. And in lesser known, slow-burning tragedies, the daily foot soldiers, the community activists and the dreamers, all those who see a better future.

When the city and the greater whole of the place, no longer see tragedy.

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