From the Governor to the Mayor. From the local police to the FBI. From the swat teams, to the military, to the bomb squads, to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. From the emergency workers to the medical personnel to the fire fighters. From the runners to the residents to the business owners.
I wasn’t there. I have no training in such matters. Or, thankfully, any experience. But this I do know. If they hadn’t put their egos aside, if they hadn’t put individual agendas or prejudices or beliefs or preferences aside, if they hadn’t collectively focussed on the end goal, if they hadn’t come together as one, it is doubtful we’d have the outcome we’ve got.
Bringing the suspects to justice was priority number one. So was capturing them alive. As was getting the job done without losing any more civilian life. Without losing law enforcers’ lives. Even if it meant taking their time. Even if it meant having the press and members of the public down their throats, impatient for quick results.
This is going to sound strange considering the gravity of the situation. But it was beautiful to watch. Not the tragedy. The teamwork. The orchestration. Everyone involved knew what their job was. When it was their turn to perform. Understanding each and every one had a critical role to play. Appreciating each and every one had a critical role to play. Knowing only one individual could be in charge. Would be in charge.
No lone wolves. No one going rogue.
Marshalling all that manpower, all that expertise, all that experience, all those different skills, all that equipment had to be an undertaking of mammoth proportions. But they made it look easy. And seamless. And the results speak for themselves.
They even spoke as one at the few press conferences they allowed. There was one message. One story. No matter who was doing the talking. No one spoke out of turn.
Unfortunately we don’t live in a world where we see this very often, any more. We’re certainly not seeing it in Washington. Or in Toronto, for that matter. What’s good for the greater good isn’t on the agenda, it seems. Instead of pulling together, we work against each other. At cross purposes. And accomplish nothing. In fact, we make everything worse.
You don’t just witness this in politics or during disasters, terrorist attacks and other tragedies. You see it closer to home, as well. In our personal and professional lives. I’ve worked in companies where dissension and resentment and jealousy and differences of opinion have gotten in the way. Where management can’t agree. Won’t agree, actually. Where personal ambition takes priority over corporate vision. Where pig-headedness makes productivity impossible. Where, given the circumstances, success is impossible.
We saw co-operation at its best in Boston. Let’s hope it’s a lesson the whole world takes to heart.