During the night, here in England, there was a devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in Ladbroke Grove, London. Today (as I write this on Weds 14th June), there was shock and disbelief at how such a terrible thing could happen.
Each news station was running the story almost constantly throughout the day. All asking the same sort of questions. Everyone wanted to know why, or how it happened?
With social media all around us, videos of this terribly tragic event seemed to fill almost every site, each more disturbing than the next.
London has been a place of much scrutiny lately because of the awful events on Westminster and London bridges. This is yet another tragic event to add to the list, as is the bombing a few weeks ago in Manchester, England too.
This afternoon I learnt of a shooting in America. Another terrible tragedy. It seems like it is going on all around us.
How often do we switch on the news now and see terrible things happening? So many people are affected by each and every event. Devastated.
Most of these are events are those which we hoped that we would never see.
But, especially in London, the past few weeks have been a stark reminder that lives can be terribly fragile. That they can be taken away with no warning, leaving grief and dismay in their wake.
It is tragic that these events have occurred. My hearts and prayers go out to everyone involved. My thanks go out to the emergency services, volunteers and members of the public who helped, and our still helping, those affected. Bless you all.
The reality is that despite these being terrible events, we can learn from them. We would never have chosen for them to offer us this learning experience, but they have. We also wouldn’t ever have chosen for those people to have died, or been seriously injured. Neither for the torment suffered by their families and friends. My heart breaks for them all.
Sometimes the news does provide a glimmer of hope in the form of something lighter happening. It tries to evoke all of our senses in one way or the other, and sometimes it even succeeds.
Here is the thing….
We can take some responsibility to how we react to events being shown to us on the news. We can learn from such terrible things happening and allow them to slowly bolster us in a way that will speak to us despite the pain that they have caused.
We can help, support and care for those in need. We can also be determined to fight evil and never let it win. In fact we can do all sorts of things.
We can also do what the souls who perished or were injured haven’t, or won’t, get a chance to do. We can let our disgust at the acts of terrorism, and our disbelief at the terrible results of the fire in Grenfell Tower, and the shooting in the USA, to show us the way forward.
You might ask how?
By being determined to live a full life. By not letting down the souls of those who perished or were injured in those tragic events. By learning from the tragedy that befell them and not letting even the merest minute go by without us living our own lives to the fullest.
By accepting that life is both fragile and precious. By taking the opportunities that those involved in these tragedies might never have.
As a writer that means making the most of every single opportunity to write. Not making excuses that I am too tired or too busy to write even a few sentences like so many of us do.
Appreciating all that life offers us as writers, even when we don’t really see it.
Let these tragic events guide us to what we could be doing right now. Let us not waste even a single minute.