Imagine running 26.2 miles.
Now imagine running 26.2 miles, all while pushing your disabled son in a wheelchair. Thirty-one times.
Now imagine running 26.2 miles, all while pushing your disabled son in a wheelchair. Stopping at mile 25, you realize that something is happening, something bad. You know that your family is waiting for you at the finish line, but you realize chaos has begun to erupt. Unaware of the horror unfolding just minutes away from you, you push on. A uniformed police officer informs you that two bombs have just been detonated near the finish line, mere moments away from your family.
You just put yourself in the shoes of Dick Hoyt, an inspirational marathon runner who has pushed his quadriplegic son in over 1,000 races.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Mr. Hoyt is a healthy 72-years-old.
His son Rick was born with cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair as a result of oxygen deprivation at birth. Rick was born with his umbilical cord tightly wrapped around his neck.
Just days before the 2013 Boston Marathon, a beautiful bronze statue was unveiled near the starting line of the Marathon. The 2013 race was to be the 31st and final Boston Marathon for the inspirational father-son duo.
During President Barack Obama's speech at a Boston Memorial Service, Obama referenced the duo, saying "We’ll keep going. We will finish the race. In the words of Dick Hoyt, who’s pushed his disabled son, Rick, in 31 Boston Marathons – ‘We can’t let something like this stop us.’ This doesn’t stop us."
Nothing could be closer to the truth. Boston is strong. America is strong and we as humans are strong. Too many times we find ourselves dwelling over meaningless problems, or mistreating our fellow humans and fellow Americans.
There is a good in everything, and there is a good in everyone. The heroic acts of individuals like Dick Hoyt, the first responders of the Boston tragedies and the selfless individuals who courageously risk their lives to help others should be the real lesson that we take away from the recent events in Boston.
All too often, actions like those of Mr. Hoyt go unnoticed.
The next time you start to feel bad for yourself because the barista messed up your coffee, or because that gosh darn Mercedes cut you off on the way to work or because that kid you don't like gave you a dirty look in the hallway, stop.
Stop and think of those who have it so much worse, and those who have it so much worse yet make the absolute best out of their tribulations.
Stop and think of Dick and Rick Hoyt and those innocent Americans affected by senseless tragedies like Monday's Boston Marathon bombings.