Boston. One > Zero.

Racepoint Global

Written by Scott Barboza, Senior Account Executive at Racepoint Global


One. Depending on perspective, it can be a number of isolation or a number of completeness – the all-encompassing enumeration of all the possibilities that can be. It is, at once, a number that divides and draws together. Depending on which song you listen to, it can either be the loneliest number, or it represents the one life we share together.

Given that dichotomy over the representation (or misrepresentation) of “one” number, we have to examine the relationship of one’s closest numerical relative – zero.


Zero. Cold. Barren. Devoid of life. It’s the binary complement to one. And yet the concept of zero, as Fibonacci is credited as introducing the place-holding decimal system in Europe and the concurrent introduction of the concept into native Italian language, is also – like one – complicated in its nature. In its figure form “0” is both dividing and inviting.

Breaking away from the literal senses for a moment though, we can see the immediate symbology of the figure “1” and “0”. If you look at the earth on a greater scale, we’re a bunch of 1’s running around the surface of a big ole 0. But interestingly, the zero (that “pale blue dot” as Carl Sagan so beautifully termed it) is what makes us complete. Actually, it’s what makes us one. There’s but one side to the circle (the “0”) after all.

That’s why we choose to celebrate One Boston Day today.



It’s also the reason why the date April 15 should remain a 1, instead of a 0. Just as acts of terrorism haven’t stopped Boston from running its marathon in subsequent years, we so choose to be one. If April 15, 2013 and the days immediately following taught the world (and ourselves) anything, it’s that Boston – our home – is one resilient place. It’s also a home founded on tolerance and goodwill, and that spirit permeated the streets of our city in the days following unspeakable tragedy.

I can’t help but think back to that day three years ago. I was writing for ESPN at the time and was covering the Red Sox’ annual Patriots’ Day game. As a native New Englander, it’s one of my favorite days of the year. It’s a rite of spring, a reminder of the warmer days to come, with the Red Sox and the marathon running concurrently. April 15, 2013 began as one of those days – a brisk morning for the runners setting off from Hopkinton, but a sunny day nonetheless that warmed with rising sun.

As the horrific events unfolded that day and I was asked by my editors to break off my previously assigned story to cover the aftermath, I was reminded of the famous story retold by TV personality Mr. Rogers. He talked about how his mother dealt with him after seeing unsettling stories in the news.

She told him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

For the unspeakable acts that were perpetuated that day, those are the things I choose to remember from that April 15 on Boylston Street – the helpers helping.

That’s why One Boston Day is so important. We seek to prove we haven’t forgotten the indelible words of Martin Richard that have reverberated the world over:

“No More Hurting People, Peace”

From an early age, we’re taught 1 > 0.

So for this day, for the sake of argument, and for each other, let’s agree that 1 (one, un, uno, wahad, alef, y? …) is what we are.

We are One. We are Boston. We choose not to hurt anymore. We choose peace.