Tuesday, January 24, 2017

     Sunday night, we went to see Patriots Day, a film produced by and starring Mark Wahlberg. Mr. Wonderful and I agreed that it was tastefully and beautifully executed telling a story that we knew but reminding us of the fragility of life. It was an event that was forgotten by most after a couple of weeks when it was no longer front page news. Why would we want to see something so tragic when we already knew the outcome? I don’t know, but we did, and we came away richer from the experience.

     The film captures just enough of the main survivors’ lives to make the viewer care about them before the race begins. The main character whom most of us didn’t know gave us an additional perspective, that of the police on duty, which added an ingredient most of us don’t think about. We always empathize with the victims, but we don’t realize the traumatic effect seeing all this devastation can have on the people in the trenches hearing the cries and seeing the carnage. 

     We all remember those who lost limbs. Some might say, “Thank goodness, that’s all they lost.” Imagine your life without a foot, a leg, an arm, an eye. The perspective might change. 

     The courage and resiliency of so many is inspiring.  The whole city was ordered to lock down and stay inside their homes—prisoners within their own walls. How do you explain that to young children?  A man looked out his window and saw something on the ground next to his boat, and the war began in his own backyard. How do you ever forget that and sleep well at night? 

     An entire city came together and rallied for the police as well as prayed for the victims. The strength and tenacity of so many coming together is inspiring, especially considering the divisive climate in which we are currently living. 

      The film didn’t show gore like it could have. It didn’t overdo Hollywood, and it probably won’t win any big awards, but it will be memorable for us because it reminds us of one thing. In this world climate, violence is random. We don’t know who the next enemy will be, and we can never assume that these things only happen to other people or in the movies. These were ordinary people getting up on an ordinary day going about their lives. No one knew at rush hour how their lives, their city, their perspective could change in less than 24 hours. 

     So what’s the take away? Enjoy every healthy moment. Take no one or anything precious for granted. Be vigilant. Be grateful. Look for the good, and trust that when a crisis happens, we will come together, meet it, and help each other endure.