Tuesday, April 16, 2013 and it is not business as usual. Nor should it be.
I don’t want to see your cheery tweet about the recap to the Fashion for PAWS runway show or the agony and ecstasy of book reviews. I am not interested in your ability to tune out tragedy and get on with what is most important to you. Whether you are an individual doing that or a brand not smart enough to pull those scheduled social media messages for just a little bit, I lose respect for you. You’ve shown me another side of who you really are and I don’t like it. PS. When given a choice, you won’t be getting my money anytime soon.
Don’t misunderstand me. I believe in moving on. I believe in moving past. I believe in getting on with life. And I understand the mentality behind such acts of terror is for us to not do that. Whoever was behind this wants to instill fear. Deep, abiding fear that makes us not want to leave our house and to alter our way of life. But that does not mean its okay to inundate me with Tweets asking me what books I like to read or taking me to articles on how to fire someone in a respectful manner. Not today.
Today is not about business as usual. Not just yet. Victims are lying in Mass General fighting for their lives. Men and women who were running a race with two legs yesterday are now being told they are missing a limb. And children. At the moment we know of at least one little boy who lost his life.
The sun is shining today. Even brighter than yesterday but the world is much different.
I know that feeling. I know what it’s like to wake up one bright sunny morning when all seems right with the world and go to sleep knowing your city will never be the same place again. I am after all, a New Yorker. I was here on 9/11. And while I have gone on and so has the city, I will never forget.
So I let my heart ache today. I let the tears well in my eyes when I listen to the accounts of horror mixed with the acts of heroics by those who raced to help. I am struck as I always am by the inherent spirit of humans to pull together in community in the face of such adversity. I feel the pain of that city and remember that of my own.
Yes, I will be working today. I will make progress on projects in the cue and keep my business meetings. I will break to get an update. To see if they have found whoever was responsible for all this. I will pray and send love and light to those who need it. But I will not fill my social networks with solicitations for business. I will not be sharing tips on digital strategy. Not today.
It’s not business as usual. Not yet. Not for me.
Yes, there are other tragedies that happen every day. Shootings and killings and acts of violence all over the world. But for me, this is not just any place.
This is Boston.
This is where my cousin JoJo and Ted grew up. The first city I visited outside of New York when I was a kid. A city that did not have a Central Park but a Boston Commons complete with Swan Boat rides that my Aunt Helen took us on. It is where I watched my best friend from college get married in a ceremony overlooking the Charles River. It is where a waiter at a restaurant in the North End adamantly told me I was ruining my seafood pasta for asking him to put cheese on it. It’s a city whose people I know. Good, solid people proud of their town and of their world famous marathon. I’ve wandered up and down those shops on Newbury and Boylston Streets. I’ve traveled there for pleasure and for work. It’s a city with character, with soul and with a heart.
Today that heart has big crack in it. It deserves deference and respect.
I consider myself a digital evalengist of sorts. Which means I understand that our 24/7 world never really shuts down and trying to get it to is near impossible.
But it can slow a bit. It can pause. It can take some time to feel instead of spew. It can exercise sensibility. It can spread a conversation fitting of the day after such a horrific event.
Not one soliciting me to sign up for your new five week class on how to build a better website or informing me that Game of Thrones has slipped in their social rankings. Not today.
Today is not business as usual.