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How do we respond to global terror?

June 29, 2015 Leave a comment

This week has seen many horrific stories in the news – stories from around the world involving terror, death and fear. How do we respond to it?

When I heard/saw the news, I was in a public building which had a news screen and I saw that people had gathered round it. I saw the flashing “Breaking News” scroll across the bottom so realised that something had happened. The sad part was that it wasn’t just one thing. Stories came in from Tunisia, France and Kuwait. The even sadder part was that this isn’t the first time that we have heard stories of this nature. It’s becoming less surprising and more normal but still the same level of terrifying.

How do we respond to these stories? How do we stop them from becoming “normal”? Can we? Can anything be done?

I don’t know.

What has moved me this particular evening is reading stories from survivors. I read them and started crying – all of them are so thankful to be here and so sorry for those who are not. What really touched me was the stories of the hotel workers and other local people going all out to help people – creating a human barricade around a hotel and hiding people. What bravery these people showed. There were others and in particular, the man who took a bullet for his fiance. Through all the terror, we see huge acts of love that we just don’t see in everyday life. I wish we did, but it seems to take a terrifying act for love to shine some light.

The world scares me at the moment but in that, there is hope. There is love.

A phrase that is particularly apt for this week, particularly in light of the news in America at the weekend – #lovewins

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beauty.

November 27, 2008 5 comments

“sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world i feel like i can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.”

This is a quote from one of my favourite films, American Beauty. The film is quite obscure, very twisted. One of the main characters, Ricky, becomes so endearing as to his outlook on the world. He sees beauty in everything; he films a carrier bag blowing in the wind because of the beauty of its dancing, its freedom. At the end of the film the main character, Lester, dies from a shot to the head but is left lying on the table with a smile on his face. Ricky films this; he sees beauty in this. I’m never sure how to feel about that; it’s twisted yet endearing I suppose.

Just last night, I was having a conversation with a friend about seeing beauty in people. At that moment it seemed so easy to say that everyone contained some form of beauty, something wonderful about them. My friend, however, wasn’t convinced and I struggled with this thought. This morning I woke up to the newspapers telling me of the horror in India. Could I see any beauty in this? I couldn’t. I couldn’t stop feeling how wrong this was, how unjust the actions were. Was there any beauty in the people that carried out the acts? I can’t see it. I don’t want to. Well that’s not true…I DO want to see beauty in THEM, just not what they have done and what they may continue to do. It was so heartbreaking, sitting with a friend in the common room today who knew people from that area. She was broken from these acts, people everywhere are. How can there be beauty? I’m not sure where this need to see beauty everywhere has come from, but I so want to. People are living in fear, panic, despair, grief, darkness.
Maybe the beauty will be seen from the help offered by people, worldwide. Maybe it will be seen in healing. Maybe it will be seen in hope. Maybe it will be seen in peace. These are all maybes, but I hope they are real.

Perhaps the hope of beauty all around is too airy fairy, maybe it’s unrealistic but I really hope not. Hope is such a strong thing and there is such a need to see it working in the lives of all who have been hurt by this.

i think i had more thoughts but they remain clouded for the moment…