Not Breaking News: Six Thousand Americans Died Yesterday

6,000 Americans died yesterday. 40 of them were murdered. 100 of them died in a car accident. 84 of them committed suicide (1,000 others tried to commit suicide and failed). Most of the rest died due to a long struggle with heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc.

There is no mystery in those statistics. It’s just a mass outpouring of simple tragedies of life. There is no narrative we can tell about these six thousand. There is no one culprit on whom we can focus our attention and in so doing attempt to find some kind of closure.

boston-bombingWith these six thousand shadows in the background, the horrific bombing in Boston almost seems faint, like another ripple in an ocean of human suffering. I am overwhelmed by the immensity of it. My inclination has been to put the dramatic megaphone of the news on mute, and try to be a helpful hand in whatever small way I can in my little corner of the world.

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