I’m always reluctant to tackle big issues on this blog. I’m not that keen on mouthing off my opinion on stuff like this, because in a lot of ways it doesn’t seem appropriate.
Too many people, in my opinion, immediately flock to Facebook and Twitter to throw their hat in the ring without knowing the full facts. This is different though. This latest attack on the most innocent of people, is very close to home for so many reasons… not least the fact that Manchester was my spiritual home when I was a teenager. The most accessible big city from my poky little town and the number one spot for live music. I’ve been there so many times, in that same arena, I’ve got so many memories there.
Fast-forward from my days as a fourteen year old ‘mosher’, and I’m now an adult with a wonderful life, a fabulous husband and a gorgeous little boy who shortly turns two years old. Mercifully, this time, he is not old enough to start questioning what is going on around him. But it won’t be long before he does. It won’t be long before he sees what’s happening, on our doorstep and beyond and starts to ask his parents why, and I won’t be able to tell him.
You can’t just turn around to him and say “some people are just fucking warped”, can you? You can’t tell a child that this is an issue that simply shouldn’t exist in civilised society, but it does and it’s getting worse. So what can you say?
I’ve thought about this for more than 24 hours now, and I can only come up with one answer. You should be honest with your kids, and tell them that you don’t know why. Nobody, really, knows why. Nobody can really tell you what possesses someone to walk into a crowded room, end their own life and take those of entirely innocent children leaving a pop concert. Nobody can explain why people harbour so much hatred for strangers in the name of religion.
There is no use in trying to find logic behind senseless acts, because there isn’t any.
I’ll tell you what I do know.
I know that the people who wish harm on innocent men, women and children are outnumbered thousands of times over, by the people who barrelled in from all over the country to help those in need. People from all over the globe, of all different faiths and religions sending their well-wishes to our country.
I know that for every person out there, committing atrocities in the name of what they believe in, there are scores more people trying to do what is right and trying to change the world for the better.
I know that the world is better than the actions of these few.
I don’t know why they do it, why it happens or what we can do to eradicate it completely. But I know that we’re a bit beyond the whole “Keep Calm and Carry On” mantra that gets peddled out at times like these. Don’t keep calm. Use your voice and your actions to show them that together we are bigger, stronger and smarter than they are.
Short Rib, I’m sorry I don’t have the answers and I’m sorry I never will. This is the world we live in right now and whilst I hope that one day, we can get rid of the ideology behind these attacks forever, that won’t be easy and it won’t be quick. This is a part of life.
When you’re old enough to ask questions, I will be completely honest with you. It doesn’t matter what other people think, or how they act.
What matters is what you do and how you react.
Whilst it may seem cold, dark and dangerous, the world is a wonderful place overall, full of love, respect, support and adventure. Don’t be put off by the tiny minority that want to spoil that for you. Stand tall, stay strong and resolute in your values.
Most of all, remember that every time we are knocked back by things like this, we come back. Not through counter-attacks, or like-minded violence. It’s through the support of the rest of the world, a community of all different people, different classes, beliefs, races and ages being brought together to lift us back to our feet.