And it continues. From Istanbul to Paris to Nigeria, Charleston, and now Manchester. It seems that we have come again to the trauma of terrorism.
These are terrible events, and each time, we are left with asking, “what do we do about this?” We still do not know who is behind this, or if this was a lone wolf attack, or something completely crazy. I don’t want to speculate about the politics of this moment, that will be in the days and weeks to come by many people.
I want to talk about the goodness of people.
I know that is a weird thing to talk about in a moment like this. Someone has done something evil and reprehensible and I want to talk about the goodness of people?!?!
Bear with me
Whenever these events happen, we focus so hard on the perpetrator. We look for their identity, we scour their lives as quickly as possible to gain some sort of reason as to why this has happened. The name, grainy photo is plaster on TV 24/7 for days. It is not too dissimilar to Mass Casualty events in the US, now it is just on a global scale. A Media bent on knowing all the facts, and in the process creates a brief star, a supernova that burns bright and fast, that moment of glory, of recognition… before being snuffed out.
It’s sick to watch.
We only get to see, briefly, in flashes the humanity of the response. People rushing in to save others. People giving their homes to people to sleep and recover. Taxis giving free rides home for people in need to get home safely. Law enforcement trying to make sure everyone is safe, and that those in danger can be saved if possible. The paramedics who rush in to try and save those who need help the most. In these events, we see skylines change color, people give blood, donations from around the world, and an outpouring of sympathy and love, and understanding. In these moments, we see each other differently. Because we can see ourselves in this moments of trauma. Whether it is a Concert, or a church, or a school, or a Movie Theater, or Club. We could be them, and that outpouring of empathy is what makes us human, and what makes us good.
I hate these moments. I wish that the want and drive to hurt, main and kill was not apart of the human experience. I wish we didn’t have to face the reality and damage of hate personified. I do my best to find the humanity in these moments. I say to myself, “despite this terrible moment, good people meet the challenge and do amazing things. ” And I hope that in those moments, if they befall me, that I will show the best of humanity, lest somebody needs it.
I mourn for Manchester and my heart is with them this evening.
But I still hope.