On Thursday of this week, multiple bomb attacks blasted apart hundreds of people in a capital city. Bomb and gun attacks also happened in a different capital city on Friday but sadly, in the west at least. we’ll only remember the one that happened in Paris rather than Beirut. It saddens me how often we nonchalantly glaze over at news of bomb attacks in (for example), Nigeria, Nigeria and Nigeria (yep, that’s at least three bomb attacks in three months. Then there was that attack in Jordan this week which we’ve probably forgotten about. Don’t forget about the fact a bomb blew a plane out of the sky as it flew back to Russia…
Saturated yet? I am. It’s awful, shocking and utterly horrific out there and the best we can hope for is that one day, maybe people can start getting along with each other better. That seems like an insurmountable task when every ‘Jihadi John’ is traded for some Parisians eating dinner or a school full of Nigerian kids learning English.
What can we do? What can you do? When you could be blown apart in a plane, a train or a bus what point is there carrying on? May as well give up and roll over. It’s up to our government to change things and it’ll hopefully be for the better – like when George Bush and Tony Blair went to war illegally. (Side note – if the 1941 Pearl Harbour attack was a war crime than surely the illegal war against the Iraqis is too?) Okay, so maybe the government can’t fully be trusted on issues that affect us.
Are we completely, helplessly, screwed then? No. No we really are not. For every dead concert goer, dead shopper or late night eater killed by a terrorist you occasionally get one Malala Yousafzai. For all the tragedies in the air you sometimes get a safe landing in the Hudson River.
The world can be full of hope and you still have a choice to cling on to hope rather than let fear overwhelm you. You have the right to take your time and think about your future actions instead of (for example), rashly naming a religion as the sole cause of terrorist attacks. You can do simple things like the lady in the park that picked up litter on her dog walk (“the council can’t afford to clean it regularly so it’s up to us to look after it as well”).
It’s greeting people with a smile, not a frown, it cheering people up when they are down and it’s about keeping your mind open and your eyes cast upwards, not to heaven, but to the stars where humanity’s future can only survive. We are a brilliant, inspirational race who have the capacity to achieve so much. Remind yourself of the greatest achievement’s of our time and focus on them as your sources of hope.
Individually we need to keep positive and collectively, we need to remember that we can achieve so much more when we work together, than apart.