A terror attack at the Boston Marathon last month claimed three victims and injured more than 100. Yet the tragedy has shown us not only the evil side of some people but also the kindness and warmth of others.
Jeff Bauman was waiting at the finishing line for his girlfriend, one of the competitors, when a bomb went off. A stranger, Carlos Arredondo, came to his aid immediately, giving basic first aid, and staying with him until emergency workers arrived.
As I read more about the two men's story, I was even more moved. Arredondo had a son who was a marine; he was killed in action in Iraq a few years ago. Stunned and depressed, he tried to kill himself.
He managed to recover from his depression, but his other son, Brian, took his own life in 2011. He decided to channel his grief into helping others. Arredondo was at the marathon to pay tribute to fallen US soldiers.
Recently I heard it said on the radio that "People who have had tremendous difficulties or sufferings in life would probably either become extremely good or evil".
The choice that we make between those two options defines us. as human beings. What some people learn from their pain is that they should not cause suffering to others. Others decide to wallow in self-pity or take their anger out on innocent people. We always choose the former course of action.