It’s been one week since the atrocities in Manchester in which 22 people were killed. Like most of the country I sat and watched the news in utter horror that this kind of evil could exist in our world and that it had attacked innocent children and teenagers. As a parent this type of attack taps into your darkest, most terrifying fear; losing a child. And there were parents in our country, in some of our communities facing this unimaginable horror. My heart is broken for them.
As a parent watching the reports on this attack, hearing the devastating news of the loss of life, seeing the wrenching images of grieving families; aside from my feelings of heartbreak and sorrow for those effected I felt helplessness alongside fear. Scared that my own children were growing up in a world where such evil exists and operates. A world in which as a parent you are rendered powerless to protect your children; the most basic of parental instincts. How do we as parents deal with that? How do we bring up our children in a world which can be so terrifying? And how should we react to such evil? Feeling so incredibly helpless where our children’s safety is concerned it’s not simply frightening it’s unbearable. Are we truly helpless? There is a very famous quote from Mother Teresa; “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” I believe therein lies our power; as parents we are raising the next generation. How that generation shapes our world and treats one-another is in our hands right now. As parents we have the ability to bring up our children to show kindness, to be accepting rather than judgmental of the differences we see within others and to stand up to the hate that spreads through our communities like a plague.
As parents who have watched the atrocities of Manchester’s horrific terror attack on innocent children and teenagers; our future generation, we must find the strength to move forward shrouded not in fear but in hope. Hope that we can teach our children to be kind, teach them to love and teach them to except one another. Hate breeds nothing but hate. Let’s teach our children understanding, empathy and acceptance. We may never know the true extent of an individual act of kindness; just how big an impact it could have in driving hate out of our children’s lives, our communities, our world. There have been so many incredible stories of acts of bravery, of generosity and of love which have come from this act of pure evil. Individuals running towards the terror in order to demonstrate that love, that bravery and that compassion. Those people are true heroes and they are driven not by hate or anger but by love and kindness. Let us as parents raise the next generation of heroes not of haters.
My prayers are with all those affected by the Manchester attack and I have added a link below to a justgiving page for those affected by the attack should you wish to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/westandtogethermanchester