After the shocking events in Manchester last week, I feel compelled to write another piece.
Having created a platform to voice my opinion I think it’s important I use it.
What happened in Manchester was an act of terror, a calculated and horrific attack on our society’s most vulnerable. This attack really affected me in a way I didn’t think it would. Sadly there have been many terror attacks across the world but this one felt different. One, it was on home territory and second, it targeted people the same age as me. The frightening thing was that that could have been me, my brother, my friends, it could have been any one of us. When something like this happens on the other side of the world it’s easy to detach yourself from it.
Having experienced the death of a loved one, I didn’t have to imagine what the people of Manchester were feeling and that’s what made it even more heartbreaking.
Whilst tragic, this event has highlighted how we shouldn’t take things for granted. But it’s also important to realise there will always be a struggle for a generation to face. Previously it was war, now it is terrorism. We’ll come out the other side, we always do.
To all those people who lost someone they knew, you have joined the ‘grief’ club, it’s not the best club granted, but it’s full of fighters. People who know what it’s like to have their hearts broken but have done what they can to stitch them back up. People who know the value of love and relationships as they know how quickly they can be taken away. People who have a fresh attitude to life, when it has treated them so badly. I tell you I wouldn’t wish bereavement on my worst enemy but I would wish my perspective on the world. As mentioned previously we are a group of people who have been doubled, we now come with our grief monsters, built from the unconditional love we shared with the other person. We carry the loss of two, the love of two, the strength of two, the determination of two. Doubled in every aspect, we are an unstoppable bunch. The terrorists may think they have weakened us but I can assure you they have only made us stronger.
You just need to look around to see it. The police, security and ambulances at the scene, the people who instead of running away went back to help those who were injured. The amount of love and support that has been sent via social media, minute silences across the country for all those who have lost their lives. The Union Jack projected across major landmarks around the world. Whilst I know none of this brings back the dead, there are thousands of hands reaching out to catch those who fall. Whether it be acquaintance or stranger, it doesn’t matter.
We mustn’t let terrorism divide us through fear, because fear drives hate and hate drives destruction. We must stand strong as a united front against this movement. For all her flaws I agreed with May when she said: “We experienced the worst of humanity in Manchester last night — but we also saw the best,”.
I don’t believe in matching destruction with destruction, but I do believe we have to stick together – black, white, religious, atheist, gay, straight – no one is to blame for the events in Manchester, apart from those who owned up to it.
So whilst feeling hopeless, I’m also matched with a great sense of hope, we’re in this together, no man is an island, and the support from around the world, not just in the UK proves it.
Lets show the best in humanity not the worst.