When we look back, this week may be seen as the beginning of something -- or, more likely, an outlier.
More heartening is the way people pull together. After the Marathon bombing, the world expressed solidarity with the people of Boston. (Even the New York Yankees paid tribute.) After the Texas explosion, there were immediate outpourings of sympathy and charity. Much divides us, but sometimes a little chaos can bind us together.
At the very least, chaos may bring out our resilience.
Perhaps the most appropriate symbol of that is Bill Iffrig, the 78-year-old runner who was knocked down by the force of Monday's blasts and then got up, determined, and walked to the finish line.
The bomb was quite a shock, he says, but when he took stock of himself, he felt OK. So why not cross the finish line?
"I ended up second in my division," he told The (Everett, Washington) Daily Herald. "After you've run 26 miles you're not going to stop there."
Life is a marathon, not a sprint.