I felt the same level of helplessness when I heard about the Boston bombings. I spent the happiest days of my life at MIT and in Boston, in fact, I met my husband there. It’s painful to see people and places you love suffer. And just like 9/11 when I wanted to drive straight back to Ground Zero to help those who were suffering, I wanted to be in Boston, even in the mist of gunfire and chaos to be with the Bostonians, to be in pain with them.
I heart MIT Police
I was fortunate enough to be accepted at MIT, and over the next four years, campus police continued to be there for me. The police officers were there to comfort my friends and me when a friend of ours committed suicide on campus; they were there to escort me home when I studied on campus until the wee hours of the night.
I always felt protected by the MIT campus police and I love them.
There is no reason why an MIT police officer should be murdered this way. No reason.
Travel to Understand
After 9/11, my husband and I decided to travel the world. One of the main reasons for that is to broaden our understanding of the other cultures and their way of living.
I remember how nervous I was being in a Muslim country for the first time in my life. I remember how uncomfortable it felt to be inside a madrasa (Koran school). “Surely, all Muslims hate us.” “All the Muslims want to kill us.” Those were the thoughts that ran through my head when I was there.
But now I know how ridiculous those thoughts were. Just like not all Americans hate Muslims, not all Muslims hate Americans. I felt welcomed when I visited Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco (and I have to admit, the prayer calls were soothing), and I felt safe when I was inside the madrasa.
A few words
To the Americans, please do not blame the Muslims for the Boston bombings. It’s not the Muslims who did this. It’s the crazy people who don’t understand Americans, never seek to understand, and are too lazy to find out themselves, because it’s so much easier to just follow what someone else told you to think rather than thinking on your own.
To the Muslims, please understand we hold no bad will towards your faith. We don’t want to harm you.
To the citizens of the world, please be tolerant of all our differences. If you don’t understand, seek first to understand before you judge. And the way to understand is to experience it yourself firsthand. Don’t solely rely on your religious leaders to tell you what to think. They are not God; they are just the messengers of God, and as they are humans, they can be wrong too! Seek out the answers on your own. There is no easier way.
Travel. Travel with an open heart and mind. You will be surprised how many times you were mistaken about the other cultures.
Rest in Peace Officer Sean Collier