Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.



I have no insights into Boston’s tragedy, but it brought to mind something my son Jake said to me on Saturday: “Sometimes I think we are running our evolutionary course, just like all other species do.” We were talking about environmental issues – global warming, massive extraction of resources, poisoning the air and water, 7 billion people increasing exponentially – but how we treat the earth is inextricably tied to how we treat each other. Yesterday brought a horrific reminder that some people treat humans as callously as nature, and when the terror strikes so close, we must realize that we can no longer try only to insulate ourselves from it. The world seems a bleaker place this morning. Three people dead, including an eight-year-old boy, others suddenly without legs, a day of celebration defiled. And yet for the rest of us, “life goes on,” a phrase that evokes the resilience of the human race. But it can’t go on like this forever, and we are the only ones who can change it. And if we do not, if we run our evolutionary course and vanish from the earth, who will care? Certainly the earth won’t. It will miss us no more than it misses the dinosaurs, and undoubtedly less since we do so much more damage to it. This is not about saving the earth. It is about saving ourselves. On the day after three tragic deaths, we need to affirm life.

“We Lost Our Compass”