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Diversity & Inclusion

Running in Another’s Shoes

BostonMag_MayCoverThe May issue of Boston Magazine has a very unique and catchy cover (see insert). It features 126 pairs of running shoes that were worn by some of those who participated in the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013. By now, most of you are aware that the event is now being referred to as the Boston Marathon Bombing. This eye-catching cover has created a buzz across the U.S. given the events of the past 11 days. The idea for the cover came from design director, Brian Struble, and deputy design director, Liz Noftle, who suggested taking shoes worn during the marathon and arranging them so that the negative space is in the shape of a heart.

“The cover is about two things: perseverance and unity. By itself, each shoe in the photograph is tiny, battered, and ordinary,” says John Wolfson, editor. “Together, though, they create something beautiful, powerful, and inspirational. Remove just one shoe and you begin to diminish, in some small way, the overall effect. Collectively, they are the perfect symbol for Boston, and for our response to the bombings.”

nike_running_003As so many others who have seen or will see the cover today, I was touched by the design, creativity, the diversity of the shoe styles and colors, and the positive response by so many people across America and the world to the bombing victims and their families. While two suspects have been identified, there is an ongoing investigation that may identify other possible suspects of this act of violence against innocent persons and bystanders.

The events since the bombing got me to thinking about the nature of hate and how it has fueled so much negativity in this world. Some children are taught to hate from a very early age. How do you hate someone that you’ve never met? Is it the person or country that you hate? Or what that person or country stands for? Others, out of hopelessness, lash out at others including complete strangers. In too many cases, anger is misdirected towards a person or people instead of the real issue or problem.

salomon-xrmission-trail-shoe_49433_600x450The Boston Marathon bombing is considered an act of terrorism, however, hate is not limited to destruction and lost of life. I witnessed some of the worst hatred that I have seen in a long time in the months that led up to the November 2012 national election in the U.S. Many cited religious morals and values to justify their anger and ugliness, and attempted to use the Bible to justify their positions. Yet hate wrapped in the Word is still hate! If the world is to know Christians by their love, where is the love?

To the haters of the world: what if you had the opportunity to run in your enemies shoes? If you ran far enough, you may forget what your issue with a particular person or group is all about. If you were sincere in your efforts, you would also learn some things about your enemy and better understand why he or she feels and thinks the way that they do. Most likely you would find some if not many things that you have in common with this same person that you hate. Running in the shoes of others would also create some solutions to these seemingly unmovable or unsolvable problems.

As I mentioned earlier, I saw hate go off the chart in the November 2012 elections, both locally and nationally. I watched some Democrats hate on Republicans just because they were Republicans, and some Republicans hate on Democrats just because they were Democrats. Sadly, I also saw some folks in the same party hate on each other because someone said something that the other didn’t agree with or approve of. Is this how far we have evolved? or devolved? We are better than this! We can do better!

running trackThe words in the open heart on the cover say “We will finish the race”. To do so, we  need some new runners in this race to exhibit perseverance and unity. I bought a new pair of running shoes three weeks ago. Anyone care to take a run in my shoes??

The May 2013 issue of Boston Magazine goes on sale at news stands today, Friday, April 26th.

Reference for this post: Boston Magazine, http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/04/25/behind-our-may-boston-marathon-cover/

 

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About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.

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