As the world woke up this morning to news of another senseless terrorist attack – once again not too far from home, Manchester. That feeling of panic and anxiety gripped. None of us want to live in a world where these atrocious acts of terror happen, yet at the same time we know they do and we can’t live our lives in fear.
But how can you not? Be fearful I mean. How do you take your children to school, visit capital cities, take them abroad all in an effort to cultivate them, show them there is more out there, past our front door there is a wealth of experience, opportunity, culture to be experienced. How can you do it if you are constantly fearful that harm will come to them? When we know there’s hatred, terror, disgusting people out there who do atrocious things, wrap it up in the bow of ‘religion’ and try to kid themselves that they are doing it in the name of Allah. No god could be that cruel surely?
I don’t pretend to be religious, before Betty died I loosely had a belief in god in something, I still don’t know what and after we lost her I believed even less that there could be this ‘god’ if this awful thing could happen to me. Religion aside as that is a whole other kettle of fish so to speak. Unfortunately what I do believe and have harshly come to learn is that this is life, some of us get a rough ride and others get a smoother one.
I can only liken what the victims may have been through, to my own experience – when that life changing event happens you almost feel like it’s not happening to you. But you know it is (it’s hard to explain) but it’s life changing and after it happens you are never quite the same again. One moment in time that shapes and changes your life forever, remember that word, I use it a lot, forever. It doesn’t just change your life, it has a domino effect to all those around you – family members, friends, siblings, grandparents, everyone. So many lives can change in an instant. Forever. It cannot be reversed there is no turning back time, and that is what is so barbaric about life.
Some of us get dealt these hands, we have to navigate the shit storm – it’s hard, there’s a lot of shit, sometimes you struggle to find love, respect, peace. Other times you know you have to because hate is like a cancer, it eats you up, it consumes you. It makes you ugly on the inside, it begins to show on the outside. These people are ugly. They are trying to scare us, when things like this happen it scares us, we are afraid, we don’t feel we can go out again, continue, live. But we do. How? Well, it’s life, we have to live, we have to enjoy, we have to savour, experience and drink in everything we have available to us. We cannot succumb to fear, hatred and rage, it gets you no where.
But when something bad happens , what else happens? We see the good in so many other people. When someone dies all those around you rally round, to show you they care, they try to help in anyway they can. You can feel love, warmth, support. Those people don’t show hate towards you. Last night there were people helping, doing their best to do what they could to help and make everyone involved feel safe. So how do we navigate this world which is becoming what I can only describe as out of control, dangerous and daunting to live in. I can do the only thing I know, live, love and nurture.
How can we make sure that this is not the future for our children? The next generation of Prime Ministers, politicians, doctors, nurses, teachers, shop workers, chefs, dancers, actors, gardeners, cleaners. Every walk of life. We have to bring them up with love and respect for one another, show them it is not right to hate, do wrong, we must not have hate for these terrorists, we must pity them. Where are their parents? The wider circles, these men and women who plot and execute these barbaric acts of terror. Will they win? NO because out of the handful of those who plot and then the few that slip through the net of our amazing security services who I can only imagine struggle to sleep knowing there is such evil. We out number those people, there will always be more good than evil. We know right from wrong, and without getting into the politics and religion of it all, we know one simple thing. Love, love conquers all? Maybe not always but it’s what keeps us going (well I know it does me)
When Betty died, if I had no one to love, I wouldn’t be here now. If there were not people around me who loved, needed me I would have probably wanted to be with her. But I couldn’t do that. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. So as a little speck on this big world, I will do my little bit. I will bring my sons up to respect one another first off, their parents, their teachers and then those around them. I will teach them right from wrong and when they make their own way in to this world on their own I will be there behind them and pray that their foundations have been solid enough to make them good men, men who can do good and then one day when they have children that cycle will continue. Like with everyday, we can only do our best and as long as we can go to bed at night and know we have tried to be the best version of ourselves for that day that is all we can do.
As the families of those dead in last nights attack wake up, those that wake up with what I suspect will be life changing injuries. As today began and all these people’s lives changed forever and the domino effect started again with them, sending them down a new path that at this stage they won’t be truly starting yet. As the families mourn those who have tragically died and try to begin understanding (which they will never be able to) and start their new lives without their loved one. We must look to our children, hold their hands, re-assure them that they are safe with us, we must try and have some hope that the majority have kindness in their hearts and that our precious little people will never have to meet evil. And, if any of us do we can navigate a new path, we can risk something bad happening in the quest to live our lives, for every bad thing that happens somehow, someway there will always be good somewhere, waiting to show us that for the handful of bad (that one man in that arena last night) there were thousands of good people, dominoes, that can be picked up again to start a new game.
I cherish my life, I love my children, I will not let evil and terror consume me. Manchester my heart goes out to every single person today, the good, the bad, the ugly. May those who passed rest in peace in the knowledge those left will do all they can to make the future better. We can only try.. every day try and make it better – one person at a time.