The week in Focus: The Boston Marathon, and Texas Fertilizer Plant, my thoughts..

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As John F. Kennedy said during his inaugural address, on Jan, 20, 1961


My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

Boston Marathon bomb devices  ...
Boston Marathon bomb devices … (Photo credit: marsmet532)

This has been a week of unexpected events in the U.S. and our thoughts have been with the victims of the Boston Marathon terrorist act, and with the victims of the Texas fertilizer plant explosion. While there are many negative issues related to both events, I choose to concentrate on the positive aspects of both. In both, we have seen an overwhelming effort to help the victims, their families, and their communities; from the emergency response teams, multiple government and private organizations, and even individuals. I think we can learn from all those people who individually choose to step up to the challenge with little or no regards for their personal health and safety.



In the case of the Boston Marathon, according to the information being released through the public media, as of today April 19, 4pm, two suspects have been identified already.  The two suspects names were Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev who immigrated to the U.S. from Chechnya many years ago, and had already obtained their residence status. As of this moment one of the suspects was killed while attempting to flee after an exchange of explosives and shots with the police, while the other one is still at large. In addition to the victims of the Marathon bombing, the suspects shoot and killed a security guard at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, officer Sean Collier, in circumstances still to be determined.


(courtesy of
(courtesy of

In the second case, not less tragic  between 12 and 13 people have been killed, and over 200 people are injured according to different reports from the public media. On this case while the circumstances of the event are still under investigation, so far the consensus is that it was an industrial accident, and one who needs to be reviewed in order to attempt to identify the causes, and to develop the necessary measures that could prevent it in the future. As in the case of the Boston Marathon, the emergency response teams promptly converged to the site of the accident, but sadly on this case, it seems that a number of firefighters lives were lost as part of the rescue efforts.


Within all this devastation as I indicated at the beginning of this article, I choose to focus on the actual acts of heroism of the individuals who put their lives in danger in order to help their fellow citizens. All I can ask from you and from myself, is to remember this the next time you see yourself on a situation where you could help others, even when this could endanger your own life or health. Many people who are alive today after these two horrific events are so only because somebody else decided to take the risk and help, even when they could not be 100% sure if there was additional risk. Those are the true heroes that we should remember and talk about.


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About Jorge Mastrapa

Dr. Jorge Mastrapa is an international author, speaker, executive coach, and entrepreneur. His areas of expertise include cultural diversity, global leadership, organizational culture, and human capital management.

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