Upon hearing about the bombs at the Boston Marathon, one of my children asked, "Why would anyone do something like that?"
This question always stumps me. Why is cruelty so easy?
I don't have an answer, but I have a quote from Desmond Tutu that I return to again and again:
I have heard many examples of the cruelty that we are able to visit on one another during my time...I have also seen incredible forgiveness and compassion... Each of us has the capacity for great evil....But for every act of evil there are a dozen acts of goodness in our world that go unnoticed...It is only because we believe that people should be good that we despair when they are not. Indeed, if people condoned the evil, we would be justified in losing hope. But most of the world does not [condone evil]. We know that we all are meant for better.
May we all reject cruelty whenever we see it, and may may we witness instead to the power of compassion.