Today is Marathon Day in Boston and this year there are people gathered together for many different reasons. Some people are here to run in one of the greatest athletic events in the world- testing their endurance as they make that climb up heartbreak hill- some hoping to win a title, other striving to prove to themselves that they really can. But for many others in Boston today they are here because of the tragic events of last Marathon Day. They are here to honor those who cannot be here. They are here to prove that they have endured. They are here to show the strength of a city and its resilience.
Some of the people show physical scars- battered bodies and missing limbs, while for others the scars may not be visible; emotional and psychological scars – the despair of loss, the trauma of having been touched by violence.
Which is to say that the people in Boston today are very much like the people you meet everyday. Some of the people you meet carry the physical scars of life while others seem untouched by its cruelties. And yet, just because you cannot see the scars- does not mean they are not there.
There are parents caring for children with disabilities or children caring for sick and elderly parents. There are people for whom the pain of mental and physical illness is so crippling that every day they get out of bed is a personal victory for them. There are those who are haunted by trauma from their pasts and those who worry where their next meal will come from. The variations of human suffering are great and the resilience of the human spirit inspiring.
So as you go through your day, and indeed , through your life, be kind to those you encounter. You have no idea what burdens they carry or the path they have had to walk. For many of us, every day is marathon day- a day of remembrance, endurance, triumph, and pain.