Be soft, do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride in the fact even though some of the world will disagree, you still think the world is a beautiful place.
I was first ‘introduced’ if you will, to terrorism in 2001, when I was 10 years old. I remember it like it was yesterday, watching those planes hit the towers. I was so confused at first, having never seen anything like it before, but I got a sense of what had happened because of the emotion around me. That day has been cemented in history for the sheer magnitude and horror of it, and everyone remembers where they were when they watched those news broadcasts: I was at elementary school in Muncie, Indiana.
So why am I bringing this up? Because I can’t remember a time in my life since then when I have muttered the words “what is happening to the world?” quite as much as I have in the last year. At the moment it seems like nearly every other week I’m turning on the news to see someone else has committed some kind of terror attack: Tenerife, Turkey, Orlando, Nice, Germany–to name a few. There’s no words for the horrible scenes we’re seeing on our TV’s, and it’s becoming all too regular.
I’m worried. Apart from the fact that after 9/11 I became nervous of flying, I’ve been in a kind of bubble, which I’m sure a lot of people consider themselves to be in too. But the more I watch interviews of people saying they had seen it all on TV but didn’t expect it to happen where they were, it’s made me realise it can happen anywhere. Anyone with a weapon, intent, and some serious psychological issues just seem to be going for it.
The fact that some of these victims will have been travelling, doing the same thing me and people I’ve met on my travels are doing, makes it really hit home. These people were all just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know so many people around the world now from my experiences so far, and I just pray none of them are ever affected. My thoughts go out to all of the friends and families of the victims from ALL of the attacks, I can’t imagine what they must be going through.
This post isn’t meant to spread fear or sadness, and I know so far it’s probably doing just that. The point of it is actually to say that terrorism will have probably put some people off travelling, which is really sad. These people are literally stealing our freedom from within us: our personalities, and our dreams.
Obviously all we’re going to see on the news are scenes that aim to scare/shock us, because that’s what news is meant to do–stir up an extreme emotion. But what about the beauty of the world? No one’s going to report on how wonderful the world is all the time because unfortunately, that’s not newsworthy material.
But there’s so much more going on in the world, and the only way we’re going to see it is to be bold and brave, cast away our fears and get out there!
As much as the stories I’m seeing at the moment terrify me, I’m not going to let it stop me doing what I want to do. I’m determined to find the good in the world and not be reduced to cowering in the corner.
My message is please don’t let these acts of hate stop you from travelling the world. Making everyone afraid is exactly what they want.
Stay safe x
P.s I promise to get back on to more light-hearted topics in the next post.