Beliefs and the Boston Bombing

At this time the authorities have not yet identified the bomber(s) or the reason for the bombing, but here's what I know. It was the bombers BELIEFS  that allowed him, or her, to commit this horrific act.

The victims and their families are in my prayers. I am confident that those responsible will be brought to justice, and while that is as it should be, it will not fix this problem or heal these wounds.

It will be beliefs; yours, mine, those of our leaders and especially those of the survivors that will determine the meaning of this bombing.

I choose to believe that me being angry would serve no good cause.  So I am not angry. I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed that we still have people who, despite our laws that provide freedom of speech and peaceful protest, decide to use violence as their way to communicate and intimidate.

I find comfort in looking at a bigger picture and larger perspective. For example did you know that the number of people killed in battle – calculated per 100,000 population – has dropped by 1,000-fold over the centuries as civilizations evolved. Before there were organized countries, battles killed on average more than 500 out of every 100,000 people. In 19th century France, it was 70. In the 20th century with two world wars and a few genocides, it was 60. Now battlefield deaths are down to three-tenths of a person per 100,000.

This comes from Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined," Pinker makes the case that a smarter, more educated world is becoming more peaceful in many ways.  Here's more:

The rate of genocide deaths per world population was 1,400 times higher in 1942 than in 2008.

There were fewer than 20 democracies in 1946. Now there are close to 100.

The number of authoritarian countries has dropped from a high of almost 90 in 1976 to about 25 now.

Pinker says "As we get smarter, we try to think up better ways of getting everyone to turn their swords into plowshares at the same time," Pinker said in an interview. "Human life has become more precious than it used to be."

This does not lessen the pain suffered by those in Boston but it does add perspective.

We are smarter, more evolved, and yes there are still some amongst us who act primitively.  Let justice be served in love. These violent actions are not OK and cannot be tolerated but our response must be based in love, not hate, or fear.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind…

Murder in European countries has steadily fallen from near 100 per 100,000 people in the 14th and 15th centuries to about 1 per 100,000 people now.

Murder within families. The U.S. rate of husbands being killed by their wives has dropped from 1.2 per 100,000 in 1976 to just 0.2. For wives killed by their husbands, the rate has slipped from 1.4 to 0.8 over the same time period.

Rape in the United States is down 80 percent since 1973. Lynchings, which used to occur at a rate of 150 a year, have disappeared.

Discrimination against blacks and gays is down, as is capital punishment, the spanking of children, and child abuse.

You can learn much more at-

Let's continue to act in loving ways. Let's continue to be hopeful. Let's continue to live true to our Higher Selves and let's hold those in Boston in our thoughts and prayers.

In Love,

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