there’s little more i can add to the conversation surrounding monday’sboston marathon bombing. we’ve collectively mourned the loss of lives, searched for answers to why this happened and watched the explosion footage over and over in disbelief. when these senseless tragedies happen, we’re left with a lot of talk and very few answers.
it’s unlikely, then, that a comedian would add some worthwhile words of wisdom. but that’s exactly what patton oswalt did in a facebook post monday afternoon. quite frankly, i’m not that big of a fan of patton oswalt, but his words transcended whether or not i laugh at his jokes or watch his movies. i’m including his entire statement here. he writes,
Boston. Fucking horrible.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
yes. yes. yes.
he taps into one of my most core, life-guiding values: people are inherently good. humanity isn’t collectively depraved and wicked and evil. good wins. love wins. evil and darkness are, have been and will be defeated.
this certainly wasn’t his intention, but what patton oswalt says here is one of the fundamental beauties of jesus’ message—we’re all beautifully shaped and crafted in the image of god. good is at work within the world. and the actions of a few aren’t representative of the whole.
we have reason to be hopeful in the midst of tragedies that make us cry. that make us angry. that make us confused and uncertain. even if “the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled” and “pointed towards darkness”, we can look around and affirm that good and love and kindness trump the “fraction of a fraction of a percent” that represent violence and bigotry and intolerance in the world.
so, in this time of mourning and sadness, may we also celebrate the fact that “the good outnumbers the bad, and always will”. and may we run TOWARDS the destruction so that the good shines brighter than the bad.