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As thousands of runners line up this morning for the 2014 Boston Marathon, they carry with them a resilience to finish strong. Over 36,000 people will run today, representing countries from around the world, all walks of life, and they carry the spirit of hope, the spirit of competition, the spirit of pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and to a new level. However, that’s not all that will be happening today. Today, many of those who are running, as well as those who are standing along the marathon route, watching and cheering as the runners pass, are people who were present for the 2013 Boston Marathon, when the unfathomable happened and bombs went off. To this day, it’s difficult to understand why someone would intentionally set out to hurt and kill innocent bystanders. What goes through the mind of someone who does that? Yes, yes…there may be many expert opinions on the subject and many not-so-expert as well, but truly, most people will never know or understand.

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What can we do? Well, today, we can say a Benevolent Prayer and ask that the universe watch over those who are running and those who are watching the race, keep everyone safe from harm and may the outcome be better than we could have ever anticipated or expected. That is my request for a “Most Benevolent Outcome” today.

What else can we do? In our own cities, towns, neighborhoods and streets, in our own schools, churches, communities, we can teach respect for others, despite the differences that we may have. OK, so you don’t agree on politics…that’s not reason to hate someone so much that you want to hurt them, or even stop talking to that friend. Your neighbor goes to a different church…well, so what? That doesn’t make them any different that you, they are still going to worship a God that they believe in. Your co-worker is gay or lesbian and you don’t understand…well, who are you to judge who someone else loves? Their are many so-called “Traditional” marriages and relationships that fail terribly, but there are so many who think that is the only right way to love someone else, in a traditional marriage.

These very small examples and thousands of more that I haven’t written are no reason to disrespect another human being. No one has the right to judge another person. You don’t like the way someone looks, or the clothes that they wear, the car that they drive, the color of their skin. What makes anyone more superior than another? Until we stand up together, with one voice against hate and say that we will not tolerate it, then our world will never change and in fact, will likely get worse. But, we hold the power within ourselves to change that and we can start by taking a stand and showing that we do not accept the judgment that others places on us and those around us.

Teach your children by example to respect everyone. Teach them manners, awareness of the world around them, teach them acceptance, in spite of differences. Teach them the resilience of staying strong in the face of difficulties, of supporting those around them and of being a good member of society.

For today, I wish the 22,000+ runners, as well as those who are working the race and those who are standing of the sidelines cheering for their friends, families, loved ones and showing that they are #BostonStrong the best of everything and every day going forward, I wish each and every one of you, who support me, read my website, listen to my words, who I work to inspire and motivate to change your lives, much success in all that you dare to do. For within each of you, I fully believe, is the strength to find your dreams and go for it, just as those who are running the marathon are doing. As a Professional Life Coach, it is my passion to help you define that dream and make a plan to achieve it.

Robbyn Ackner
April 21, 2014