Yesterday, Manchester England experienced something horrible within their city. Hate driven violence, violence that targeted children. We are left with overwhelming emotions. We sift through emotions, trying to answer hundreds of questions. It makes us question our safety and our security. How do we move forward from this?
Part of me wanted to be silent, to honor the victims. Yet there is a bigger part of me that cannot stay silent. As a writer it is my duty to interpret the world. If we do not speak about what has happened, we cannot make it better. To fix the problem we need to confront it.
I have grown up in the age of terror. September 11 fell on the eve of my 11th birthday. Nearly two decades later I have witness many more. Madrid, London, Paris, New York and Boston. I am no closer to understanding what makes people do such things.
One thing I have realized is, there are situations we will struggle to understand. You can blame extremism, or ideologies. I think it runs deeper than that, but that is just my opinion. I think it is much more important to move forward. There is nothing we can do to change other people’s hatred. What we can do is change how we look at our world.
We need to condemn these acts. Yet we cannot let hate define who we are. We cannot fall into the same traps of hatred that define the Radical Islamic State. We need to remember who we are. We live in counties defined by freedom, equality and justice. The Western world needs to rise above this hatred and show the world our understanding and compassion. We need to set an example of what humanity can be. Thinking about that today, I got my answer. There are things all of us can do to make our world a better place.
Be strong and brave.
Help where you can.
Say I love you too much.
Hug your loved one tight.
Practice compassion and understanding.
Be a light in the darkness.