Working with Boston in Mind


It’s late, roughly midnight, and I am settling in after a long night of networking, walking the dog, and putting to bed an excited toddler still up and excited to see her Dad. It’s time to write. After yesterday’s terrible attack in Boston, it did not feel right to publish yet another marketing post.

So here we are, reeling from cruel violence on U.S. soil, most likely a terrorist action.

First, as horrible as it is to watch these events unfold in the news and online, it cannot even come close to experiencing it. My heart and prayers go out to family and friends in the Boston area. Most importantly, my condolences to those families who lost loved ones, or have been directly impacted by the attack.

When something like this happens close to our physical home, it robs us of the innocence, the sense of safety we have in our day-to-day lives. I remember September 11, and watching the Pentagon burn from my office. A sense of horror that engrossed DC (and New York). It was God awful. So it must be with Boston today, I imagine.

Talking to your child in the midst of human despair feels odd. Her eyes are so full of precious joy. You dread the day when you’ll have to explain to her what happened on the news like millions of parents did yesterday.

Finally, there’s the shared online reaction, something that just did not exist when I experienced September 11. Social media heightens our emotional response, making it more traumatizing than bad news sans the conversation.

The reactions have and will range from a sense of shared mourning and emotion to anger and calls for retribution. I expect the rhetoric will increase dramatically if we find out Islamic fundamentalists backed yesterday’s attack.

I pray that we can take a step back in our conversations, perhaps minimize the negativity, and add a touch of compassion to our day. Online anger and hostility will not make this situation better. It’s too easy to participate in collective rhetorical anger and retribution. In fact, it will only make things worse.

More than anything, I hope we can go to work today in the face of terror and continue our business, perhaps more reflective with Boston in our hearts, but attending to our work with purpose. By delivering today we can best thwart the very purpose of terrorists, distracting us from our day-to-day lives.

How do you feel about yesterday’s events in Boston?