We are the heroes, they are the cowards

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During his press conference following the Boston Marathon bombings, President Obama denounced the perpetrators as “evil” and “cowardly,” contrasting their behavior with the heroic first responders who rushed to aid the injured: “What the world saw yesterday in the immediate aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness and generosity and love.” He praised the “good people of Boston” as well as the virtues of the American spirit: “If you want to know who we are, who America is, how we respond to evil, that’s it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid.”

The unity we presently feel doesn’t represent a kind of self-deception. Splitting under these horrific conditions allows us to weather the immediate trauma.

Obama’s words echo those of George W. Bush speaking on September 11, 2001: “Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.” In the face of a grave external threat, our leaders rush to offer us the same assurance: we may have been confronted by “the worst of human nature,” but Americans embody its finest virtues.

We are the heroes, they are the cowards.

We are motivated by love, kindness and generosity; they feel nothing but hatred.

We are good, they personify evil.

Leaders in other countries no doubt rely on similar language to comfort their people when facing an existential threat. It encourages unity on the home front and inspires patriotic feeling. It identifies the domestic goodness worth defending and mobilizes aggression against the enemy. While personal or political squabbling might dominate during times of peace, we put our differences aside when we face an external enemy. Praising the citizenry of Boston yesterday on MSNBC, Governor Deval Patrick said that “there’s something about America that causes us to come together” at times like this. True, but citizens in many other nations “come together” in the same way when facing a crisis.

 

Read the entire article on The Atlantic

A Case for Pessimism

Optimism can be healthy. But assuming the worst is over also means you won’t be prepared.

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In 2006, a tornado struck the town of Parkersburg, Iowa. The devastation wreaked by the category F2 twister was sizable: The 150 mph winds left a path of destruction four and a half miles long and a third of a mile across. Businesses in the small city suffered $10 million in damages; private residences and the state college, tens of millions. The residents of Parkersburg were resilient: they rebuilt and moved on. In the process, however, they lost the ability to accurately assess their risk of experiencing another disaster. They were optimistic to a fault.

A few weeks back, Emily Esfahani Smith made a convincing case for the health benefits of optimism. More specifically, she reviewed recent research on resilience — the ability to overcome trauma or tragedy. According to Smith, having a positive outlook is the most powerful predictor of resilience; optimism, thus, actively creates positive outcomes. She explains:

 

When your mind starts soaring, you notice more and more positive things. This unleashes an upward spiral of positive emotions that opens people up to new ways of thinking and seeing the world — to new ways forward. This is yet another reason why positive people are resilient. They see opportunities that negative people don’t. Negativity, for adaptive reasons, puts you in defense mode, narrows your field of vision, and shuts you off to new possibilities since they’re seen as risks.

 

I’m an optimist and would never argue against the importance of being able to move on and thrive after negative life events. But for the sake of balance it’s worth taking one thing into consideration: While these open-minded individuals are looking ever-forward toward the horizon, that might mean failing to see — and thus failing to prepare for — the possibility of stumbling blocks still to come.

Read the entire article on the Atlantic

Final resting place of Freddie Mercury found

Fans of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury claim to have found clue to singer’s final resting place

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He was one of rock’s most famous singers but Freddie Mercury’s final resting place has always remained a mystery.

Now fans believe they have found a clue to where the ashes of the Queen frontman were scattered in Kensal Green Cemetery in West London more than two decades after he died.

A memorial plaque to the singer has been found in the cemetery along with a description that reads: “In Loving Memory of Farrokh Bulsara”.

It adds in French: “Pour Etre Toujours Pres De Toi Avec Tout Mon Amour”, meaning “So I Can Always Be Close To You With All My Love”.

Farrokh Bulsara was Mercury’s real name before he changed it in 1971 following the creation of Queen.

The memorial is marked with the letter ‘M’, which fans think stands for his former lover Mary Austin.

Read the entire article HERE

Reeva’s death goes viral

Pretoria – Spreading like wildfire, the death of Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend went viral on social media all over the world on Thursday.

The story broke on Twitter at about 8.30am and flooded Pistorius and Steenkamp’s Facebook pages soon after. For the rest of the day, and evening, Oscar Pistorius was the top trend, with Reeva Steenkamp also trending.

Posts on the various social media platforms indicated the public had different perceptions and mixed feelings about the incident.

The public used Pistorius’s Facebook page as a medium to send him personal messages – some offering condolences and others accusatory and openly bad-mouthing him.

One of his nine Facebook fan pages has more than 133 000 fans and all of the pages have been abuzz with comment and critique.

Reeva Steenkamp

Entire article HERE

#RIP Heath Ledger

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We could not believe the news that Heath Ledger is no longer with us. You always think that you see things coming. There are some artists that are really nominated to cross the line. But we were all shocked that Heath Ledger is no longer with us.

We hope that the fans will find their way to express their condolences at Respectance. After all this is why we started it. To give people a medium to express their emotions and read those of others.

Heath was a great actor, he will never be forgotten.