There is one phenomena that has totally taken my breath away, and that has been the out pouring of goodwill towards the charity supported by the London Marathon runner who sadly died in the last mile of Sunday's event. The news was broken and moved through the Internet (newspapers, blogs, and Twitter) during late Sunday and Monday. Shortly after and during the sad news becoming public knowledge the Just Giving page set up by the deceased runner Claire Squires began to see activity that has yet to slow down. People are donating in their thousands to The Samaritans charity and the total at the time of writing is now £628,586.50.
"hi guys as you all know i am running the london marathon it was just going to be for fun. but its a fab opportunity to raise money for my charity the samaritans if everyone i know could donate £5.00 that would be a great help and change lives." - from Claire Squires JustGiving page
The story encompasses a mix of sadness, ultimate altruism and human spirit. That a young woman simply set out on the challenge of the London Marathon (I gather not her first marathon) primarily for fun and then to raise money, but then did not make it home to her family is immensely immensely sad. Her altruism was the same as any fundraising marathon runner, essentially "I will give up my time to train and prepare for an extremely tough physical challenge if you will perhaps agree to support my chosen charity". That her act of giving lead to her untimely death appears to have connected with marathoners and non-marathoners around the Internet and the real world manifesting itself in thousands of charitable donations in her name.
In these times of global economic uncertainty, civil unrest within various regions, ongoing droughts, ongoing famine and so forth it is all to easy to entertain cynical thinking a great deal of the time, and perhaps negative outlooks upon the motivations of the current human populous, but the wide connection to events such as this and the widespread desire to act in support of such tragedy opens our hearts to the warmth humanity is more than capable of. I did not know Claire, I have no more of a connection to the events than the vast majority of charitable individuals donating to the site, but I have the sense that a tragedy is actually serving to spread the warmth of altruism and the warmth of caring empathetic thoughts that will leave a lasting impression on so many.
If you would like to see what has been written about events head to a search engine and you'll find all you need to know. Moreover if you feel moved to join the sentiment go to http://www.justgiving.com/Claire-Squires2