I see a lot of chatter about showing support after yesterday’s bombings, both on my personal feed and in the Spahtens group (as well as many other groups I’m a member of).
I also see a lot of confusion. How do you show support? Especially if you weren’t there, or not even in the region.
Showing support is important – people need to process emotions – but it has to be done in a way that is helpful and respectful to the small number of people who are truly, directly affected, and I’ve seen ideas floated that range from the impractical to the crazy to the downright insulting.
Here’s some ideas:
- Turn off the TV. The media has air time to fill, and they will fill it. They fill it with speculation, videos on repeat, photos, talking heads, endless interviews. Turn it off. More on why this is so important.
- Stop sharing the misery. Photos, videos, edited pictures, ribbons, graphics, blog posts and other multimedia on Facebook and social media. They are far from helpful, and don’t do anything for anyone. That picture of the little girl flying around since yesterday? Fake – she’s happy and healthy. The child who died yesterday was male. Blog posts sharing peoples stories? Unless you know, or are that person, it’s not your story. As Todd Sedlak posted yesterday – do you *know* that person wanted to have their life reduced to an internet meme?
- Stop planning your fundraiser, meetup, social awareness stunts, shirts, ribbons – and go out and give blood or money where it counts. If there is going to be any kind of fundraiser, it’s going to come from BAA themselves. Check out the B.A.A 10k that many Spahtens will be attending – this is the appropriate way to show support – https://www.facebook.com/events/184647631687268/
- Wear a race shirt – identify yourself today as a runner, and wear a race shirt on your run. Let the world know that this isn’t going to stop us pounding that pavement.
- Donate blood and money to the Red Cross – information on getting in touch with them can be found here: http://www.newenglandspahtens.com/for-boston/
- Most important. Live. Go out today and live your life. Do something good. Give blood. Donate financially to the Red Cross – but don’t stop. Don’t be scared. Don’t show fear, and don’t change anything you do, unless it’s to improve yourself and the society around you. This is the single most important way you can show your support for the people who were directly affected, and the community and region this happened in.