Investing in Families

“There is a lot of discussion these days about investing in teachers and “improving teacher quality,” but improving the quality of our parenting and of our children’s earliest environments may be even more important. Let’s invest in parents so they can better invest in their children.”


One Boston

People in the Greater Boston Area are still talking about the tragedy that took place at the Boston Marathon last week, and we probably will continue to speak with each other as we try to make sense of all the carnage.

As law enforcement continues to peruse the evidence from all of the crime scenes, we wait to hear information that will enlighten us as to how and why this happened. However, each new development leaves us a little more unsettled:

  • Are there really a half million people on terrorist watch lists? How can we possibly keep track of ALL of them?
  • Did the brothers carry out this attack on their own? If there is no group behind them, how many other young men are currently planning attacks on other American cities?
  • Is there too much media discussion of this event? Will other young men see this as a way to gain notoriety?

We want to hear more…and yet we don’t. We want answers…but we want life to return to normal. We grieve for the victims…but the deaths and injuries these people and their families have experienced is too large for us to wrap our minds around. We cannot begin to imagine the pain and sorrow they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. We want to reach out to them…but somehow, sending money seems so cold. Yet, we are reminded that many of these families will have huge medical bills and will need help to pay them.  This makes donations more meaningful, more personal.  

Please donate to One Fund Boston, or to one of the local funds that have been set up for victims in your community. But please make sure the fund is legitimate first. Unfortunately there are those who will take advantage of this time of sorrow to increase their own wealth.

We Are All Bostonians

What people who don’t live here don’t understand is that those of us who live in Massachusetts, especially those of us who live in eastern Massachusetts, all consider ourselves Bostonians. We are proud of our history, warts and all, and the vibrant intellectualism of “The Athens of America”. Butwe are also proud of our scrappy individualism.

The Boston Celtics is our team, the Boston Rad Sox is our team, the Boston Bruins are our team and the Boston Marathon is our Marathon. At this time of year we usually have all four events happening at once and we all expect to be kept informed of the events happening at each venue. Celtics and Bruin scores are announced at Red Sox games, jumbotrons show pictures of other sporting events when teams are in close competitions. There are very few places in the country where sports teams so regularly extend the season into the playoffs to make this glut of professional sports possible year after year. Although it never feels like its been easy. Our teams like to keep us holding our breaths until the last minute, but in the end they usually pull through and make it to the playoffs.

Maybe this is why we keep hearing the words “You messed with the wrong city.” Because even though we come from different socioeconomic, educational and religious backgrounds, when you mess with one of us, you will end up dealing with all of us. We are used to being in it for the long haul, what ever it takes. Like our sports teams, we are focused and determined. If we don’t see the finish line this year, we will work harder than ever to strengthen our talents and our resolve and will be back stronger and more determined next year. And the year after. And the year after that.

Boston Marathon Tragedy

It is a horrific day in Boston. On one of the most celebrated days in Massachusetts, celebrating the
Patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War to secure our freedom from England, we have been terrorized by an unthinkable act of destruction. Millions of people were out celebrating one of the most recognized Marathons in the world.

On a beautiful spring day our security has been shaken by the deaths and injuries sustained by people from Boston and around the world. The Patriots Day holiday will never be the same for those of us who have experienced the carnage of the 2013 event.

Bostonians, and Bay Staters in general, have stepped up to the plate in their usual fashion. Five of the world’s top hospitals are within minutes of the finish line and they immediately began following the measures they have practiced in case of a terrorist attack. First responders were onsite at the finish line and moved quickly to secure the scene and triage the injured. The hospitals have notified the public that, due to quick response, they have no need for blood donations at this time. Local Bostonians are providing food and clothing to runners who cannot get back to their homes or hotels. They have set up a hotline via news media and social networking for people who need a place to stay until they can get home.

It is no more than you would expect from Americans who constantly reach out to help the less fortunate. And thus I can’t help asking why here? Why on this day when people from all over the world have come together to celebrate our strengths and to cheer on each and everyone of the thousands of runners from every continent?

The anger, the sadness and the loss of our sense of safety will color the rest of our lives, but it will only bring us closer together as a city, a commonwealth and a country.