We’ve been dealing with wave after wave of tragedy as humans for the last few months, longer really but lately it just seems heavier. The most recent, no doubt you know about already. I’ve seen the text messages sent to parents as it happened, I’ve read about lovers who took bullets for their partners. I’ve read about people opening their doors where possible to hide victims and those running scared in Paris. I’ve read of people doing everything they can, all that they can possibly do to save the life of another in Brussles. Grabbing the hand of a stranger and pulling them to safety, even if they weren’t sure if they were safe themselves.
Someone that they don’t even know, and in the daily grind of life, would never have met, spoke to or nodded at.
The situations are unstable, they are as volatile as any situation can truly be. They are the violent actions that strip life from this earth. They are brutal in every sense. Yet, some how, people are reaching to each other. They flee, but they take others with them. They wrap limbs of strangers with clothing pulled from their own brutalised bodies, they hide people, they are doing all they can to save someone. In a moment when they could lose their own life.
Currently, there are hundreds of people lining up to give blood after the horrific events in Orlando. Literally giving the life from inside them to another.
A thick, heavy lump fills my throat and my chest is tight. But it is not with fear, it’s with utter love for people.
The thing is, time and again as humans we reach out to others, we try to show – in whatever way that is – that we are here. We wash our Facebook with thoughts, feelings, news pieces, change our profile pictures to show that we are united. We stand together. Twitter trends hashtags for discussions points, for safe spaces, for change. Blogs are filled with thoughts and feelings, some written with beauty and grace, some in the heat of the moment but all of this is valid. All of this is unity.
We all feel the same way.
We are incensed at the sheer destruction of life, the taking of that which is not yours to take, we are crushed mentally and spiritually for the loss of the victims and their families, we are broken at the thought of it happening ‘closer to home’, to people we know, to us. We look to blame, it started with the person holding the smoking gun (metaphorical and literal) and trickles into fear of whole races, whole religions, people we don’t know.
The thing is, though. The voices of hate and fear, however loud, will never be as powerful, as pure and as poignant as the voices of love. If there is one thing, that puts the beat back in my heart, it is hearing and reading about the love, the heroism, the utter selflessness that humans show other humans in the moments it counts. Race, religion, gender, sexuality and age no longer matter – what matters is life.
When it really comes down to it, in those moments, we reach out our hands and (in the words of Bill Hicks) love all the people.