This is a comment by Shalom Ormsby on the post “The Aftermath: What I Learned from the Boston Bombings“.
Shalom Ormsby said:
First of all, I’m so glad that you and your family are okay. I can only imagine how hellacious that experience must have been for you and everyone at the bomb site. I’m moved by everything you shared — particularly your third insight, that “Acts of heroism are acts of love.” Of course, I agree with Alyssa and her husband, who state the obvious truth, above, that women do this too, and I applaud the countless women who do this. At the same time, I feel that there is a deep and important significance to your third insight specifically vis à vis gender stereotypes. In my enculturation, acts of love are expected of women; acts of heroism or valor are expected of men. I appreciate how the gruesome, traumatic experience of being at the blast site brought this insight to life for you, and that you shared it as deeply and powerfully as you did in your article.
I agree completely — these actions are pure love. Knowing how to tie a tourniquet is love in action. Fortunately, life doesn’t often ask this kind of radical embodied love of most of us, so life offers us other ways of putting love into action. Today, I spent the entire day in my garden, caring for the plants, cutting the lawn. I believe that even mowing the lawn can be an act of love, if done with presence. Ultimately, from my limited perspective, that’s what life is about: Doing acts of love every day, as often as possible (whatever your gender). Serving life. What are those specific acts? Whether it’s dealing with bomb blasts or something infinitely more benign and mundane, life always lets us know.
Thank you for sharing your personal experience and hard-won wisdom with us, Lisa.
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