Ran­dom peo­ple help­ing those af­fected by the at­tack is proof vi­o­lence will never pre­vail

New Straits Times - - Viewpoint - The writer, a lec­turer at Sun­way Col­lege, is a Malaysian-born Eurasian with Scot­tish/Ja­panese/In­dian lin­eage. She be­lieves in a to­mor­row where there is no racism and ha­tred

THE world was shaken by the news of the Manch­ester ter­ror at­tack a few days ago where 22 peo­ple were re­ported to have been killed, and at least 50 oth­ers in­jured in the blast that was de­clared a ter­ror­ist at­tack and iden­ti­fied as a sui­cide bomb­ing.

The in­ci­dent took place right af­ter a con­cert by pop­u­lar Amer­i­can singer Ari­ana Grande at the Manch­ester Arena in Manch­ester, Eng­land.

Al­most half of those who have had their lives taken away so sud­denly and un­fairly have been con­firmed to be teenagers and young chil­dren.

It’s with great sor­row I write this, be­cause this atroc­ity should not have even hap­pened. This sense­less rob­bing of lives should not have even taken place. This ab­sur­dity should not have even oc­curred, mak­ing head­lines in news­pa­pers all over the world.

This is some­thing that has been hap­pen­ing all too fre­quently the past cou­ple of decades, and still we have no an­swers as to why we are pow­er­less to prevent it.

It sad­dens me to think about hav­ing to worry about our fam­ily and loved ones never com­ing home some­day be­cause some­thing like this might hap­pen again. Frankly, it ter­ri­fies me.

But I don’t want to fo­cus on the neg­a­tives right now. We’ve had enough news ar­ti­cles talk­ing about the lives lost, more than enough to break our hearts think­ing about the pain and suf­fer­ing their loved ones must be go­ing through at the mo­ment.

What I want to high­light here is the other side of hu­man­ity.

I was go­ing through the up­dates about the ter­ror at­tack on Twit­ter when I came across a few posts by ran­dom peo­ple in Manch­ester who were of­fer­ing help to those af­fected by the bomb­ing.

Some of them were open­ing up their homes to com­plete strangers seek­ing refuge, and some ho­tel own­ers were of­fer­ing their rooms and shel­ter to the ones in need.

In fact, a few of these ho­tels were even look­ing af­ter a num­ber of chil­dren who had been sep­a­rated from their par­ents dur­ing the at­tack.

Cit­i­zens were queu­ing in long lines at blood do­na­tion cen­tres to give their blood to the vic­tims of the in­ci­dent. Home­less peo­ple who were out­side the con­cert venue rushed into the Manch­ester Arena to help those in need.

In ad­di­tion to that, taxi driv­ers around the city banded to­gether and of­fered free rides to those who were flee­ing for their lives from Manch­ester Arena.

Mo­bile phone providers of­fered peo­ple to use their phones to make calls or have their phones charged for free at any of their stores.

Eater­ies and food joints even of­fered free food not just to those who were in­volved in the ter­ror at­tack, but to all the po­lice, emer­gency and am­bu­lance per­son­nel, as well as lo­cal re­porters who were present at the scene, all of whom were work­ing tire­lessly to save as many lives as pos­si­ble.

A men­tal health char­ity opened its doors to all those who have been af­fected by the bomb­ing, giv­ing out free coun­selling ses­sions to in­di­vid­u­als, cou­ples and fam­i­lies to help them through this dif­fi­cult time.

A crowd-fund­ing cam­paign for the vic­tims of the at­tack, which was set up by the Manch­ester Evening News news­pa­per, has raked in more than £1 mil­lion (RM5.5 mil­lion) so far.

When I read all this, tears were rolling down my face. See­ing pho­tos of peo­ple sac­ri­fic­ing their time, ef­fort and even lives to come to the aid of those in need made me re­alise that from the dread­ful­ness of this in­ci­dent, there is still so much kind­ness and com­pas­sion.

This is all the proof we need that ruth­less­ness will never have the up­per hand.

This is all the proof we need that vi­o­lence will never pre­vail.

This is all the proof we need that evil will never tri­umph.

As long as there are peo­ple like this in the world, things will be okay. We only need to be­lieve that some­day, the world will in­deed be a bet­ter place.

... this atroc­ity should not have even hap­pened. This sense­less rob­bing of lives should not have even taken place. This ab­sur­dity should not have even oc­curred, mak­ing head­lines in news­pa­pers all over the world.


Flow­ers and mes­sages of sup­port rest in St Ann’s Square in Manch­ester on Fri­day, placed in trib­ute to the vic­tims of the May 22 ter­ror at­tack at the Manch­ester Arena.

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