05 November 2012

Harnessing All That Energy

Late Friday evening I was thinking about all the marathoners roaming the streets of Manhattan. Some had spent a lot of money to travel to NYC and made many sacrifices of time and training. And yet as sorry as I felt for them, I understood completely that despite the loss of income for the city, and the runners' own bitter disappointment, cancelling the Marathon was the right thing to do.

And then within moments I saw a video flash across the television screen: people in the hardest hit burroughs, still without food, water, or heat.  Volunteers stretched to their limits despite trying to get to everyone who needed their assistance.  And as I watched those who were suffering, I thought about those marathoners—so healthy, so full of stamina, with all that energy and with nothing to do. 

The next day I mentioned it to a friend.  "There are thousands of runners in NYC and yet it hasn't occurred to anyone to take this opportunity to enlist them as an army of volunteers to somehow assist all the people who are suffering."  And after all the city had given to many of these marathon runners over the years, it seemed to be a perfect way for them to show their love, gratitude and empathy.  My friend agreed and said the same thing had occurred to her, and she in turn had mentioned it to several other people as well.

And then, I awoke yesterday and heard the news.  That energy had indeed been redirected.

 Some marathoners took the ferry to Staten Island with backpacks full of food and water

 ... and then distributed them to victims there. 

One runner from Buffalo organized marathon-length laps around Deleware Park
raising thousands of dollars for the Red Cross.  

One marathon runner climbed 20 flights of stairs in an unheated building
in Far Rockaway, Queens, to deliver water, sandwiches and blankets to tenants. 

I smiled and wondered if the power of a collective consciousness with a single thought can actually reach out to make an impression on the minds of others, and in so doing, make that thought a reality. I think the answer is yes.  The power of positive thinking can absolutely change the world. Sometimes one runner, one blanket, and one backpack at a time.


  1. This is truly lovely!
    A big happy hug:-)

  2. Isn't it wonderful, Bella? They turned their disappointment and spare time into something so generous and beautiful.

  3. I had heard about this too. Helping each other is what really matters, isn't it? And thanks for the nice comment on my paper crafting post!

  4. How wonderful!
    Marathon runners love a challenge, and they responded beautifully.
    I'm sure it will be one marathon they will never forget!
    I'm sure I can speak for all New Zealanders when I say you are in our thoughts following Hurricane Sandy.
    Take care
    Shane ♥

  5. I'm so glad you shared this. Truly heartwarming! I completely agree about the power of collective thought.

  6. Wow Haworth..
    I too thought about the runners. There I was, watching the news.. and thought exactly the same as you and your friends.. What i did think, was that the money that they would have won , could have been distributed to those poor people ..
    Hats off to them after all.
    We didnt get that news here.
    wishing you a happy week Haworth.
    val x x