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Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Another day, another devastating event.  And this time, I'm really angry and heartbroken over it.

By now, most of you have heard the news.  On the night of May 22, 2017, in Manchester, England, a terrible explosion took place at the Manchester Arena shortly after 10:30pm.  The explosion took place during the finale of the Ariana Grande concert which was sold out.  The end result was that twenty-two people lost their lives and another fifty-nine were reported to have injuries ranging from mild to critical.

It is the deadliest terror attack to strike the United Kingdom since the July 2005 bus bombings in London.  It has been reported and widely speculated that the cause of the explosion was a suicide bomber, and that terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility.

But you know what?  I don't want to spend this piece talking about them any longer.

I've labeled this post as "Focus".  The title happens to be the title of an Ariana Grande single that peaked at #7 here in North America.  It's also the theme that I want this blog to feature.  It's a time in which we all need to focus on what is really important and what we can do to get through this.  Because even though this tragedy was most felt in the UK, the whole world was watching and grieving alongside all of Manchester.

As I stated, I will NOT be focusing on the people who orchestrated these attacks.  One of my friends was bang on when she described the perpetrator as a "homicide bomber" and not a suicide bomber.  He is no martyr.  He is no hero.  He is a coward.  A coward who chose one of the most inexcusable targets to terrorize.  I don't want to say any more than that.

Instead, I want to focus on the people of Manchester.  And while there is a lot of bad stuff to focus on, there are also some silver linings to be found within the dark clouds.

I can't even imagine what it was like to have been in that arena when the explosions went off.  One minute the crowd is dancing in the aisle tossing pink balloons in the air and grooving along to the music.  The next, they're running for their lives.  It must have been jarring and shocking to those who were at the arena.

It also must have been pure hell for those parents were waiting for word on whether their children got out okay.  One of my dearest friends actually had a child attending that concert and was naturally worried sick about him and whether he was safe.  I'm happy to report that he got out of the arena safely...but not everybody was so lucky. 

I want to focus on the victims of the blast, and how unfair it was that they were caught up in a disaster that was orchestrated to bring fear and terror to a nation.  They did not deserve to die.  They just wanted to have fun watching their favourite singer belt out all their favourite tunes.   For some, it was their very first concert ever.  I hate that they were exposed to this.  I hate that so many lives were cut short.  I hate that some of the victims were as young as eight years old.  And for what?  What did this accomplish?  I don't think anyone will ever understand that.

I want to focus on Ariana Grande herself.  Her last tweet was made after the explosion took place, which stated how sorry she was and how she had no words to describe what happened.  I want her to know that she has absolutely nothing to apologize for.  She had no idea that anything like this would happen, and she should know that the world is feeling her pain.  We should be showing compassion towards her and everyone else that was at the arena.  We should focus on coming together so that everybody can heal.

I also want to focus on the united front that the city of Manchester took that night.  Because while there was lots of mourning done that night, there were also amazing tales of how strong the human spirit is.  It's incredible to see all of the stories of how people were reunited with each other because of social media platforms.  Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, people found out that their loved ones were all right a lot quicker than before. 

I want to focus on those people who helped others get out of the building.  I've read tales of how complete strangers bonded together to help everybody get out safely.

I've even heard tales of people who live in the nearby area opening up their homes to concertgoers so that they could either have a safe place to wait it out or so they could use their landline phones, or just to come to terms with what happened.  To me, I find that fantastic. 

That's what I want to focus on.  I want people to know that in the wake of senseless tragedies like this one that there is still a lot of good in this world.  That is what we need to shift our focus towards.  And that focus will be the strength we all need to not only stand up to the terrorists, but to continue to find happiness and joy in a world that some only want to destroy.

Focus on life.  Focus on love.  Focus on each other.

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