I pride myself on the ability to have a conversation with just about anybody from any walk of life. Unlike Jan Austen’s Mr. Darcy, I have always had the easy facility of conversing with strangers. However, today I’m having difficulty putting words on paper. Monday’s bombing in Boston was a cruel reminder that Americans are just as vulnerable to the evil that men do as any other of earth’s residents. Even at my age, I still find many of life’s tragedies incomprehensible.
I have more than the average association with cruelty around the globe. I spent the first 10 years of my adult life working with refugees. Every day I listened to the stories of the unspeakable horror that men do to the most vulnerable among us. I think that one of the reasons I was drawn to the dog game was its civility and the general feeling that our common love of the dog made us family. As fulfilling as working with refugees was, after 10 years, I gave up trying to save the world and focused on saving my own family and friends.
Over the next couple of weeks, TV’s talking heads will advise you of all the ways you can make yourself safer. Avoid large public events. Be suspicious of everything and everyone. Report any person that looks suspicious, i.e., any person that doesn’t look and dress like you and your friends. The fact is we are still a somewhat free society. I have no intention of altering my routine out of fear. I am much more likely to chase down a young man who left his backpack on a bus and return it to him than I am to seek out a police officer to report a possible terrorist threat.
Admittedly, I have never been a fan of huge crowds. A couple of New Year’s Eves in Time Square cured me of any need to be part of the herd. I would much prefer to watch a Super Bowl from the winning team’s hotel than on site in the coliseum. These days the Westminster Kennel Club’s BIS judging is the largest crowd I will see in any year. Last night I reread the Book of Job to remind myself that I’m not supposed to know the mind of God, then I said a prayer for those whose family and friends were touched by this horrible intrusion on our peaceful country. Today, I am going to take my wife to lunch and be thankful that we were granted another day with our loved ones. This weekend I will be focused on my friends in the dog world and be aware that ours is a refuge from a lot of ugliness in this world. And that’s today’s Back Story.