What Are We Adults Telling Ourselves About Boston?

04/19/2013 08:52 am ET | Updated Jun 19, 2013
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The heavy impact of the Boston bomb attack terror is weighing rightfully on us.

It surely is cause for reflection, the need for urgent waking up to the possible continued existence of terrorist activity here in the so-called "homeland" of America, and legitimate cause for great concern.

As passenger airline guidance directs us to attend to the children first, so the media daily news programs present all manner of counselors to advise dialogue for parents to calm children about the horrors in Boston.

What about the adults?

There is an unspoken assumption in America that adults have the wherewithal to emotionally take on the unspeakable violence of the day.

We are instructed to soothe the children; we being stalwart leaders in emotional stability.


It is my experience privately in my office as well as out on the streets that adults routinely are revealed to be children in large bodies.

Everything from driving behaviors to political name-calling to skirmishes in grocery stores tells the same story.

The existence of "adult" by the old definition of synonymity with maturity, is a dead reality in this era of acting out.

Further, I must emphasize that the "children" of advanced ages are abandoned children.
Abandoned by a society that demands an emotional intelligence that mostly doesn't exist and is no longer socially encouraged.

Yet, these same so-called adults are called upon to emotionally leap to the fore when terror strikes.

Ordered to lead the children, in a big way, these adults come up empty and befuddled.
So I ask now: who is caring for the adults, when they, like the children, have not learned to care for themselves?

In making this point, I do not mean to coddle or excuse the above-mentioned half-baked emotional development of people my age and older.

Nor am I side-stepping personal responsibility for our own maturity.

I am saying that the blocked and blind(adults) are expected to lead the undefended(children).

I emphatically also am saying that, popular assumptions aside, television lifestyle coaches and gurus do not pierce the heart of any urgent human matter enough to serve as leaders who provide clarity or guidance in how we grow up internally.

But that's a matter for another discussion.

The complicated challenges of living an adult life must be sold to Americans and that is not on anyone's media agenda.

Television is show business, and show business is not about building an inner core of psychological strength.

It is up to the individual, yet the question today is in neon: how to motivate people to grow up?

Or as Cher demanded with a slap on the face to Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck, "Snap out of it!"

Not an easy command. It is an unhappy fact that just because a birth date falls on an advanced year does not a wisdom figure make.

We are then back to the question of how we are talking to ourselves as adults about Boston.

Are we glued to the bloody visual news loops?

Or are we striving to understand that our country is truly aligned with the rest of the world in its vulnerability.

Do we take this moment to seek a deeper perspective on hatred, or do we fall prey to hating and ignorantly naming possible targets for our hate?

Will our government seize a culprit as terrorist for these hideous actions because the American public demands the experience of the justice and solace in the form of an "end" to this story?

Or is it possible that we are forced to live with an unfinished justice; the personal accommodation of possible terror without a crime neatly solved, where it and we are not put to bed.

Do we dare to look into the fear and vulnerability we feel and reach for strength, community, and humility?

It is never a matter of whether terrorists "win."

It is a matter of daring to strive to be whole as the habits of fear and war within us beat and pound our personal drums.