I have read with great sadness the outpouring of sentiment linked to the tragic events of Monday night.
Only those caught up in the events and the immediate tragedy can fully understand the impact. Yet we all have a part to play.
We have to reality check ourselves because the media feeds us with the idea that everyone is feeling the same, we are all paralyzed or somehow traumatized by these events.
Somehow we must share in the public grief that follows every tragedy.
The idea that cards and messages, solidarity (whatever that means) is mandatory clouds the real issues and the power of collective consciousness.
Media driven grief isn’t real, a minutes silence in no way reminds anyone of the significance of the events. It is a contrived outpouring.
Hope and Power
After a very personal trauma a close friend sat with me and explained that “this too will pass – but not today or tomorrow for you”. The day things happened it was all too much to take in, months later when the help and support was really needed this friend was right by my side.
Almost 20 years later the trauma has diminished but only after a period of empowerment. Learning to have hope and start living.
Today the families need to begin the process of grieving, the authorities of trying to piece together how this “soft target” act could have been prevented, how to monitor those who pose a risk to society without robbing them of their civil liberties.
Empower others by letting them do their jobs without demanding answers to questions that will take time to assess. Without prying into the lives that have been lost and their family grief, show respect and care because we need to ask ourselves if I were in their shoes how would I feel about wall to wall coverage of events.
Life is precious
Children robbed of life always seems more tragic than adults and yet all life must be protected.
When we hide away, publicly appear frightened by these acts of terrorism it isn’t the healthy respect we need. The healthy respect is built on courage, vigilance and tenacity.
So as we think of the human impact of these and other tragic events remember its the powerless and the beaten you see immobile, paralyzed or running away. Remember more ran to the aid of the victims than ran away. That is the affirmation that life is precious – even the lives of people we do not know.
Yes it is the first rule of charity – give because you want to.
Let the media wail and moan, but remember at a time of disaster would you want some to record what was happening or help; to complain that little was being done or someone who mobilises their resources to meet the need; someone to ask questions of people who are really focused on other things.
Having prepared for press conferences in the past I know from experience that a two minute statement and briefing is never just two minutes. So when a senior police officer comes out to speak to the media the officers involved in getting that together will have taken their focus off their roles for at 30 minutes. Ten officers in the chain you have lost 5 hours.
Look to the positive messages, help where practical and offer real support wherever you can.
My thoughts are with the families of those caught up in the tragic events.