Bringing Out Our Best

The aftermath of tragedy

We’ve seen it time and again, generation after generation, defying logic and prediction: Tragedy brings out our best.

When United 93, the last of the four hijacked planes, turned over Pennsylvania towards it’s target in Washington, DC, and the passengers on that plane knew the intent of the hijackers, they fought back, and brought the plane down, straight down, into a field, harming no others but themselves.

When the towers were burning, men and women turned to run inside, to help save others, at their own peril.

When the bombs exploded in Boston this year, scores of people ran towards the chaos, towards the danger, rather than away from it.

When tornadoes flatten schools, when hurricanes demolish towns, when earthquakes and tidal waves decimate whole landscapes, people rush in to help, to dig with bare hands, to provide care and resources and hope.

We do the exact opposite one might expect when we are under the most frightful stress.

We come together.

Radio has always played an important part in this process, informing millions with live updates, coordinating responders and resources, and becoming a beacon for sharing and caring and re-birth. We share stories of hope and heroism.

Never forget this responsibility. It’s an awesome gift we possess when used for the best.

Our best lies just beneath the surface, and while I think we all wish it did not take death and destruction to call it forth, thank God it’s there at all.

Thank God that when every circumstance should drive us solely to thoughts of self-preservation and selfishness, there is a basic humanity in each of us that compels us forward to selflessness and compassion.

That is always worth noting on air.

It is always worth reminding us of our better selves.