Photos of two men identified by the FBI (I listened to the media presentation myself) have just been released. They're available at www.fbi.gov
As to the motives of those who would kill and maim, from small children to elderly supporters of those participating in the Marathon, without regard.... An excellent analysis of otherwise "normal" people who do this was formulated by Eric Hoffer
, the American philosopher, in his work The True Believer--Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
, published in 1951 in the wake of World War II.
Since then, others have studied sociopathy and sociopaths and estimate that, worldwide, 4% of the population--that's 1 person out of every 25--is sociopathic. I've read Martha Stout's The Sociopath Next Door
(read an excerpt and an interview with the author here
) and discussed it with two of my sisters. All three of us agree that our mother was, most likely, a sociopath. Her destruction was (more or less fortunately) limited to her children because she wasn't rich, powerful, energetic, or exceptionally talented or smart, for which the world should be glad. All five of her children are messed up.
But the Boston Marathon bombing's destruction has worldwide tentacles. This bombing, probably the result of True Believers + a cause which gives sociopaths (in their own minds) carte blanche to make bombs/take up assault weapons in the name of some "higher good" (remember the Norway massacres by Andres Breivik
), doesn't make sense. It cannot
be made to make sense. Therefore, we must pursue justice (Deuteronomy: "Justice, justice shalt thou pursue"), both against
the perpetrator(s) and for
The ultimate lesson here, though, as posters before me have pointed out, is to look at the vast number of people running toward
the disaster, wanting to help in any way they possibly can:
--tearing down barricades so that medical assistance can be rendered more quickly,
--handing out space blankets to people in shock so that they won't succumb to hypothermia,
--holding hands so that the injured know they aren't alone, and
--in ways we will never know simply because there were (and are) so many of them.
This compassion elevates us above the destroyers. I'm a quilter; most quilters in North America (and probably the world) have made enough quilts for their family. Now we make quilts to help cover the pain of the world. Please find a way to help, whether for Boston or elsewhere or your own community. It's the best thing people ever do for one another: share and help one another, from the deep well of compassion.