Albert Camus, the author of The Stranger and The Plague, once wrote, “Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.”

I am confident when I say that the hearts around the world have done too much bending this past week.

If you’re bothering to read your college’s newspaper, I am doubtful that you need a recap of the week’s events, but here’s one anyways:

The Boston Marathon was bombed. A vote that would put into place a stronger background check on guns was shot down. A fertilizer plant in Texas exploded. Letters laced with poison were sent to both the president and congressmen. Earthquakes hit in Iran, and again in China killing over 120. 27 people died at a suicide bombing in Baghdad. A near 24-hour manhunt to find the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombers kept Americans glued to their televisions. An avalanche in Colorado killed five.

These are our afflictions, our weaknesses. These are the things that seek to destroy us, to bend our hearts in directions we thought impossible.

No one knows as much as they should. No one knows why these things happen when they do, or why they happen to whom they do. They just do.

Now we must overcome it. That “we” stretches from the emergency response teams to the families of the afflicted to the nation as a whole. A nation that must come to grips with the fact that our homeland is ground zero for acts of terror, natural disaster and violence.

On Monday night, only six hours after the news of the bombing in Boston hit twitter feeds and television screens, I found myself surrounded by three hundred other people inside the 9:30 club waiting to see a concert that I had purchased tickets for four months ago.

I received a text from my father that read, “Just thinking of you with the crap in Boston. Have fun. Love you.”

The text, combined with the atmosphere of the concert, ushered in the feeling of insignificance.

I am nineteen-year-old kid from a small town in Vermont. I am supposed to be figuring out how to pay for my cell phone bill, how to cook for myself, and balance school with work. But the harsh reality is that nineteen also means dealing with the immensities of loss, conflict and hardship, all of which are way over my head.

On the other hand, my dad’s text also reminded me of the importance of such individual significance. Without individuals, we wouldn’t have this never-ending web of relationships that make tragedy meaningful.

It is the relationship between a parent and a son that made the loss of eight-year-old Martin Richard so heartbreaking. It is knowing, personally, what it feels like to have a father that works as a part of emergency response organization that makes the death of Sean Collier so frightening.

Blessed are the hearts that can bend, right? It begs the question how much bending can one person, can one people take.

Last Monday, in the wake of the Boston tragedy I stood on beer soaked floors surrounded by kids holding cell phones paid for by their parents. I watched a man sing some songs. I watched a man sing some songs with three hundred other people and we all tried to make sense of the world, of ourselves.

Life is the most fragile thing we will ever have the pleasure and pain of having. Life will force us to take sides and make decisions we don’t want to make. Life will be taken away in moments of hatred. Life will be fulfilled when we listen to our favorite songs.

Life will bend our hearts in inexplicable directions, but let us never be broken.