[Editor's Note: Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG) is raising funds for programs assisting victims of the Boston Marathon attacks. Learn more and donate here.]
For those of you that read this blog regularly, you know the sweet spot for Global Business Hub content - things that relate Greater Boston to the international community, that champion the sometimes unappreciated innovation that happens here daily, that champion the unparalleled thought leadership that exists here.
And so with heavy heart I write tonight of a far different nature, far later than the daily 11 AM slot at which Global Business Hub pieces usually post.
This morning, knowing it was a local holiday (Patriots' Day, for those of you not from these parts), with bright blue skies, warm sun, bars and restaurants full of people taking the day off, an international road race in the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, a Red Sox day game, a Bruins game at night, and Tax Day... it simply made no sense to post anything but a placeholder to tell you fine readers to check back in tomorrow. And so that placeholder stood. But a little before 3 PM all that changed with a few gross acts of explosive cowardice.
Much like everyone else out there who is a sane and rational person with a conscience and a heart, I was mortified as the news trickled in. I thought about friends who were running today, who were on the lines for support, or who were at parties in the area. I thought about my college students who were probably down there just looking for something fun on a day off.
I flashed back to years past where I've been to that Red Sox game myself, imbibed a few too many morning pints with friends, meandered out of Fenway and down Boylston Street from spot to spot to catch the race, abuzz as people near that finish line. That finish line that will never look the same. That part of Boylston that each time I walk henceforth will feel peculiar, no matter how nicely the facades are restored and the streets cleaned. It's just going to be different now.
I quickly zipped through all my social media feeds to see who was posting - and hence who I could feel safe was still alive and well. I tried to make phone calls that dropped or never connected in the first place. Text messages flew fast and furious. Local TV news stayed on in the background while Web pages were constantly refreshed for updates.
Calls finally started to connect, conversations lingered, and tones turned far more sentimental than normal. Friends and former students rarely heard from, some in far corners of the globe, reached out to ask if I was okay, if everyone I knew was okay.
Simple things always seem more appreciated at times like these, and chief amongst those are the conversations with friends and family that don't always make it to the top of every day's agenda - even when we know they should. I was far less "productive" today because of those conversations, because of that worrying. Yet I wouldn't trade it for anything, because it renewed my faith in the beautiful network of support that Greater Boston has, in the strong ties people have to this place, in the people that at one time or another have called it home, and in those that still do.
So in response to the tremendous outpouring of international support we've seen all over the Internet, all over the news - please know that Boston loves you right back.
Tomorrow morning will be a normal routine here. About 12 hours from now at 11 AM there will be another blog post of high-quality contributed content. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's time to get back to normal, immediately. It's time to get back to business. It's our colonial roots in a puritan work ethic that favored perseverance. It's time to remind people why this place is awesome!
I will not grant the people behind these savage attacks the perpetual ripples of disruption for which they were praying. For the rest of us in the Hub, I hope you will join me in doing the same. I'm already looking forward to that first pint at a bar on Boylston near that finish line.
Chad O’Connor is a communication consultant, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Organizational Communication and Culture at Northeastern University, and is editor of this blog. Connect with him on Twitter @chadoconnor.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
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