Boston, Bombs, Mortality & Luck


So naturally, plastered all over today's paper was news about the Boston Marathon bombing. Having trained and ran in my very first marathon not too long ago, this one quote has been haunting me deeply, visually reverberating in my head:

"T
hese runners just finished and they don’t have legs now. So many of them. There are so many people without legs. It’s all blood. There’s blood everywhere."

I know what it's like to feel (and not want to feel) your legs after running 26 miles. For the first 48 hours after you run, you literally wish you didn't have legs. But to think that some individuals might never actually run again because of this sick terrorist attack? That is so heartbreaking to me. To take a moment as personally memorable and triumphant as finishing a marathon and sullying it in this tragedy... I hope we find the bastards who did this and punish to the full extent. Death penalty, or bust.

This got me reflecting on something Dan Ariely (a Duke University professor) recently said:

"Think about luck. Think about your own position in life. And ask yourself - how much of your own position in life is due to your skill and how much is due to luck? And when you think that more of it is due to luck, you should be willing to pay more in taxes [note that this was a discussion about taxes since it was Tax Day yesterday]. Why? Because there could have been a version of you that wouldn't have been doing that well. So if you think that everything you have in life you perfectly deserve you can say - I deserve what I have, other people deserve what they have. But if you think that a big part of it is luck, then you say, you know what? Somebody with exactly my qualifications and exactly my skill, could have been doing much worse. Is it fair that one version of me is doing well and one version of me is not doing so well? Maybe not? So maybe we should have taxes to compensate for this element of luck?"

I think this concept applies to topics much broader than taxes. I think it scales perfect to this bombing. What if this incident had happened at the Honolulu Marathon instead of the Boston Marathon? The time the bombs detonated was not that far off from when I finished my marathon. Could a different version of Julie be a 25 year old girl, now without legs in Boston? It's crazy how precious life is and how much we take for granted in one day...

To any of the families and runners who were injured/affected - please stay strong.

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Meet the Author

Hi, I am Julie.
Sometimes Jules Juke.
This is where I ramble, reflect, and refocus.