A few months ago, my wife Fran told me she had decided to run her first marathon -- the Los Angeles Marathon. "Will you support me trying to do this?" she asked one evening, and frankly I was taken aback by the question. After all, she was the one who was going to run 26.2 miles -- how much support could I provide from the sidelines?
A few weeks later, just a few hours after dropping her off at Dodger Stadium at 4:30 AM, I found myself in Santa Monica standing with our two sons, our nephew Adam and our friend Val screaming our hearts for Fran as she crossed the finish line. Beyond being deeply impressed by my wife's amazing achievement, I was similarly struck by the awesome sight of what life looks like on a marathon finish line. This was perhaps the most uplifting and purely supportive environment that I have ever witnessed.
At the finish line, you see all kinds of runners -- young and old, black and white, people in perfect health and people bravely standing up to all sort of profoundly challenging conditions. Cheering all these runners on you find a whole other rainbow coalition of family, friends, co-workers and just warm-hearted strangers there to hold their signs and offer nothing but love and support to others. "I couldn't believe how nice everyone is," my wife said when she finished the Marathon. "Everyone supports everyone."
Watching the events of this past week has been the most brutal reminder imaginable that not everyone in the world shows up to offer support. Some twisted monsters come simply to destroy, and sadly as a society we can never forget that. Yet in the end, these monsters that maim and kill will never win because to stand at life's finish line is to see that there are far more people out there who dare to run or at least care enough to cheer. So if we want to honor the memories of Martin Richard, who was only eight years old, or Krystle Campbell, or Lu Lingzi, as well we should, then run a little harder and cheer a louder because this human race is one we're all going to have to win together.
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