“What is our world coming to?!” read one of the many tweets on my feed today, as people continued to express their devastation, prayers and respect for the victims of the terror attack that took place at the M.E.N. Arena last night.
The world has yet again been shook with the news of not only innocent civilians being targeted but specifically vulnerable, unassuming children. There is something that strikes us particularly vehemently when it comes to life being taken away from those who have barely begun to live. To be the cause of such a thing is not just a crime against humanity but a crime against nature.
As I, like most of my hometown community remained glued to the news, waiting for updates, there is something that resounded more strongly than anything else. It made me in fact, rethink that initial thought that so many people took to twitter and Facebook to express ‘What is our world coming to?!’
As well as reading and hearing beautiful tributes to my city, I heard accounts of taxi drivers who drove out in great numbers last night offering free lifts to those who couldn’t return home. I watched Mancunians interviewed who had instinctively, without a second thought, opened their doors to people who were stranded and shaken. Law enforcement officers turned up to the scene despite being off-duty; reports of nurses and doctors working overtime as well as queues of people lining up outside blood donation centres have dominated BBC News over the past 24 hours.
From cursing the abhorrent evil so present in our world, my eyes were now filling up in response to the overwhelming display of love and hope I was witnessing. There has always been evil and cruelty in our world, we only have to open a history book to see that. Humanity has, since the beginning of time, been plagued with inhumanity. Evil may change form as society and times change, but it will always be there. Lives have always been taken, freedom has always been threatened and children have always been used as targets.
This is unfortunately an inescapable and uncontrollable part of existence. We will never eradicate evil.
However, we can defeat it.
By doing exactly what people have been doing all day. Random acts of kindness to strangers, selfless acts of love, the display of care and compassion for those who are in need. Nobody is powerless or useless when faced with these horrors – even a homeless man with not even a penny to his name impacted in the most powerful of ways for victims involved in last night’s attack.
Today we are not individual people, towns, cities or countries. We are one nation standing TOGETHER for humanity, facing TOGETHER a crime against humanity.
Paris, St Petersburg, Brussels, Berlin, Syria, Palestine, London, Manchester, the world…Humanity does not fall until hope, compassion and love are no longer exhibited by human beings.
They can break our buildings, they can break our technology and our transports, they can break our flesh. But they can never break our spirit.
Today we stand strong because we stand together.