Of Movies, Superheroes, and Real Life

Got home last night to news of horrific incident in London perpetuated by terrorists. Emotions of sadness, concern, anger, and (I am ashamed to say in my weak moment) hopelessness plagued me at the same time. Like many people, I asked ‘why?!’

When I came to this country 17 years ago, I noticed a big difference in the TV news compared to that of the Philippines. News of violence is very rare. I thought, at the start, that perhapsthe news agency in this country just do not like to sensationalise violent crime unlike back home. But as the years passed by, I have accepted this to be the norm. 

In the recent years, violence seem to be popping up every now and then. Most of these shocking violent crime are terrorists related. Last night, I was asking the question, ‘What is going on, London?’ I know that there will be no straight answer to this so I felt despair and anger. I feel despair for my beloved home of 17 years and I feel anger at the assailants. I despair for the world as what happened here in London is but a symptom of what is ailing humankind. Lives were lost due to extremism and refusal to be tolerant of others but sadly this is not just a truth that only the British people know. These kind of incidents are happening everywhere and moreso in other countries. 

This morning, I woke up and the world was as it was last night. The tragedy did happen. Lives were lost and forever changed. Yet the answer to this societal problem is not immediately forthcoming. I was second guessing my plans to go out this morning but I thought, those men would achieve their goal if people, like me, stopped living our lives. So I decided to carry on. 

As I walking towards the bus stop, a thought hit me… If only we had Superman, Wonder Woman, etc or at the very least, Jack Bauer on our side, perhaps they could have stopped last night’s atrocities, flush out these crazy people and their cohorts before harm was done. But this is rea life. This is no Hollywood movie where a director can yell cut or a writer can make sure that there is resolution at the end. Those who lost their lives will not get up when the cameras are turned off. This is a real life problem needing real life solutions and not just fantastical musings of despairing person. 

I have always been a pacifist. I will always advocate for peaceful resolution rather than a violent one.  Only Light can drive away the darkness as Marti Luther King said. But what if the adversaries are in a blackhole that no matter how high powered the light beam is, it will just be swallowed by the darkness? Will sending a photon torpedo into the black hole solve the problem or will it just feed the blackhole and make it bigger? In this hypotherical question, I have no brilliant answer. 

Advocacy for love, understanding, equality and acceptance should always be the primary approach. We need to stop people from being enticed to enter the darkness. These are the ones we can save. But those who spread the darkness need to stopped and held accountable for the hate they are spewing. 

So what can we, the normal people without super powers, do?  We can carry on living our lives and make sure that we treat people in all encounters with love, kindness, and fairness. We have to make sure that we do not become a reason for them to enter the darkness. We cannot accept… No…We must refuse to let what happened last night to be our new norm. 

We are British and we stand united. We are unbowed. We carry on and live our lives. 

So off I go to carry on living. 

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