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That’s No Way to Change the World


Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, perpetrators of the Boston marathon bombing may never have read The Way of the World.

The Way of the World is a play written by English playwright William Congreve. It premiered in 1700 in the theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London. It is widely regarded as one of the best Restoration comedies and is still occasionally performed.” It is a story filled with several of the “seven deadly sins”: greed, jealousy. lust, and deception.

The Tsarnaev brothers and perhaps other accomplices that may yet be uncovered lost their way. For in this world, acts of violence in the name of some misguided anarchy towards the state rarely bring the supposed change. In point of fact, they usually bring the opposite: more violence, more hate, and less tolerance. The “state” becomes even more wary and imposes its power and influence at an even higher level then before, Two young men turned to planting bombs at a public event in attempt to make a statement to the United States government. It was an exercise in futility.

The characters in The Way of the World portray in comedy the tragedy of human emotions run amok. Reason becomes paralyzed as desire and passion point due north for individuals who refuse to see the world for what it really is. For the bombers, their optic was colored perhaps by greed for not accomplishing as much as others around them, perhaps by jealousy that the world that offered so much to others seemed less then generous to them. Lust for seeking the ultimate male testosterone high by challenging authority. And, most sadly, deception, in fooling those in their family and those who befriended them, invested their trust in them as two rational and hard-working young men who valued human life.

The horrific tragedy, in the human lives lost and the bodies of countless maimed brutally by explosives, is in plain view. But what is somewhat hidden is the motive, for why the Tsarnev’s resorted to this extreme expression – and why incidents like the thousands that came before and God forbid those that will follow – continues to be incomprehensible even to terrorists who commit these atrocities. For what they see as a “cause,” a chance, albeit a long-shot chance, to harm the state, is remarkably off-base. This attack, no matter how well conceived or vicious, is against an abstraction that cannot feel pain or be eliminated with singular violence. It is, rather, humanity, which is very real, living, and breathing, that loves and is loved, that is defaced and destroyed. Of all the cruelties, one of the most cruel is to see a loved one injured or killed and know that their life was treated as expendable for a convoluted cause rather then held as a precious part of the planet we all live on.

They have not changed the way of the world. They have only worsened it, and confirmed that there are deeds committed in this world that will always end badly and in vain.

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