In wake of Boston tragedy, we need to ‘help’ each other more than ever

Everyone should know by now it can happen anywhere.
Random acts of horrific violence have occurred in Oklahoma City, Columbine, the World Trade Center, Newtown and even my hometown of Chardon, Ohio, over the last two decades.
The fact of the matter is that in the world we live in today there are terrorists abroad who want to hurt Americans and, even more shocking, our fellow countrymen now strike against us.
No one is sure yet if the horrific attack at the Boston Marathon Monday was carried out by a foreigner or a U.S. citizen, by a single assailant or a group.
The result is a loss of three lives, including an 8-year-old boy, more than 170 people injured and more innocence lost for all of us.
Quite frankly, I’m actually surprised that an attack like this hadn’t already occurred at a sporting event in the U.S. other than the 1996 Olympic bombing. When the lights went out at the Super Bowl XLVII, I initially wondered if it might be terrorist related.
However, Monday’s attack couldn’t have struck a much sharper nerve. What could be more American than the Boston Marathon, held on Patriots Day every year since 1897?
My heart breaks for the victims, including the 8-year-old boy who was waiting near the finish line with his parents to cheer on friends they knew.
Completing a marathon, which is 26.2 miles long, takes incredibly hard work and dedication and is a triumph of human spirit. When one crosses the finish line, such as my wife Angela did in the 1999 San Diego Marathon, they’ll tell you it fills their heart with immense pride and is a time for celebration.
Completing a marathon is an accomplishment that can never be taken away. Many times, people are also running for a special cause such as raising money for a charity or in memory of a loved one.
There were Newtown residents at this year’s Boston Marathon both running and watching in support of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, but now those people whose hearts were broken again are now struggling to answer the question “why?”
We’re all wondering why did this happen?
President Obama said just about what we’d expect afterward: “We will find out who did this, we’ll find out why they did this.”
Today he added, “If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that’s it — selflessly, compassionately, unafraid.”
Even when we find out who’s responsible for the Boston attack, it’s doubtful we’ll be able to comprehend “why” they would do this.
And there are obviously no guarantees another shooting or bombing on U.S. soil won’t happen tomorrow or next week.
Law enforcement agencies urge people to do what they can to stop the next possible attack. Report suspicious Internet activity or behavior you witness in public to the police.
It’s a scary world, but we can take great comfort in knowing that we are not alone in the fight against terrorists and other evildoers. Good still far outweighs bad.
I really like a quote that’s being shared on the Internet from the late Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers to generations of children he taught on public television: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
We need to band together to “help” one another more than ever.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at