It’s been just over a week since the Manchester attacks, only the latest in what has become the norm in our world. Since then, many more atrocities have happened and those not directly affected have seemingly moved on, distracted by new outrageous headlines.
It’s this exact attitude that enables this to happen time and time again. We keep reacting the same way, with an outpouring of humanity, kindness, generosity, unity. We say that this is what will defeat the evil permeating this world, but at what cost? How many more lives do we have to lose before we realize that this outpouring of love can’t be conditional, that we need love to be the norm? We need to do all we can to represent the good in the world, to teach those who come after us that good is better than bad. We need to recognize those at risk of steering off path and we need to do all we can to bring them back.
We can’t pretend that evil doesn’t exist and cruelty won’t ever completely go away. Now that I’m a mom, I take this more seriously. I look at my sweet innocent little boy who as of yet has never attacked anyone maliciously, yet I’ve had to bare witness to him being purposely pushed and hit by other children, the motherly instincts in me coming out fierce to protect my young until he’s old enough to protect himself. And on the other end, if I ever witness him being unkind on purpose, I will not stand for it. I don’t care how old he is. I will not make excuses for that behavior. It starts young, and when you allow that to continue, you are doing a disservice to the world. It’s all of our collectively responsibility to change the culture, to save our world, even if it’s one person at a time.
The issue with all of these attacks is that we have become immune. Those lost are just numbers and not people with names and families. We don’t let ourselves have a moment to actually feel the pain before we go on with our lives or post a “pray for (fill in the blank).” If we don’t allow ourselves to take a moment to feel heart broken, sad, and even helpless, we will never rise above this. We need tragedies/attacks like this to lift us up, to be better, to do better, to demand change, and more than that, make it happen so much so that the tragedies/attacks happen less. I’m so sick of the hashtags, of caring for one minute before the next big thing happens. I want the big bad things to stop happening, and I don’t want to argue or point fingers anymore, nor do I want to listen to it. At some point the stories of the good guys have to have legs and become the norm. Somehow, some way.
It’s up to us. So I ask, what are you going to do differently tomorrow?