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Ariana Grande’s Manchester Concert Should Shock Us, But Doesn’t

As you’ve surely heard, Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert ended with a bang in the worst way yesterday. Immediately after finishing her set, a bomb went off at the Manchester Arena, killing 22 and injuring 59. 

I stared at a blank phone screen for minutes that felt like hours, searching for the right words and desperate to articulate something. Anything. And I realized just how passive I’d become to terrorism in the west. Because as shocked as I was at the news, I wasn’t shocked at all. I watched videos of terrified children, teenagers and families running for their lives. I saw pictures of bloodied, beautiful young girls. Yet I was numb.

I thought about the concert attendees as individuals. I thought about the fact that the concert tickets were probably birthday gifts to more than one of the people in attendance. I imagined a scenario where a die hard fan from a humble background was surprised the morning of the concert with tickets that their parents had splurged on months ago. I imagined goofy 8 year olds dragging along their grumpy but loving fathers. And I imagined a group of naive high school friends sneaking nips into the arena, snap chatting their nights away. I thought about how many individual lives were changed by the premeditated actions of another, and the future of western civilization as a whole.

I’m no Brit. To be completely honest with you, I’m not the biggest fan of the British. I hate their accents and their unnecessary use of the letter “u.” But when I think of Britain, I think of western civilization. I think of an international community that has championed the good in the world despite its ugly past. And as selfish as it sounds, I think about how those things just aren’t supposed to happen here. It’s like when you watch the news and see something tragic. You empathize, you sympathize, you can’t believe what’s going on in the world around you. But then you go into the office, and check your email, and make some calls, and get breakfast. And your life goes on. But then something happens close to home, and everything changes. 

This terrible tragedy forced me to confront how desensitized I’ve become not only to terrorism in the developing world, but terrorism in the west. I’ve obviously always known that terrorism was wrong, and it’s a threat that I’ve taken seriously. I knew that terrorists hated us and that they were barbarians with no human decency. But it took an arena full of British kids at a pop concert to remind me exactly what’s at stake and exactly what we’re up against.

There is no low that a terrorist won’t stoop to and no stone that they will leave unturned in their campaign of hate. They will plant explosives at marathons. They will shoot up night clubs. And they will detonate bombs at concerts full of children. Time and time again, they’ve shown us their true colors. They’ve shown us that they can’t be reasoned with, and there is no middle ground. The only way we win this fight is on offense, and every day that we keep our heads in the sand, thinking that hashtags and Facebook filters will fix this is another nail in our coffin. 

I will pray for Manchester. I will pray for the victims. And I will pray that the western world as a whole makes it a priority to stop creating these victims.

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13 COMMENTS
  • Luca
    9 months ago

    It really is so sad how often it is happening, I find myself feeling the same way – numb and like it’s “normal”. It breaks my heart 🙁

  • Elena
    9 months ago

    There are no words to say to describe how I feel. I cannot say that I am in shock because this is something that we all expected, I just want to know when will all stop.

  • Chastity
    9 months ago

    This is so disturbing this event. I am so shocked that this keeps happening it just doesn’t quit. These innocent kids have lost their lives. I can’t even listen to the news so sad.

  • Lynn White
    9 months ago

    I just heard about this a couple of hours ago. It’s so sad, but as you said, unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise me. 🙁

  • Jordyn
    9 months ago

    It is so sad how much hate there is in the world. We do become desensitized to these atrocious tragedies because we hear about them every day. With each new bombing or shooting my heart stops for a moment because the pain and suffering is so unjust. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on such a horrendous act. I am with you in hoping and praying we can help prevent horrors like this one in the future.

  • Behind the Schmile
    9 months ago

    Such a devasting story. I got the new first thing this morning while I was at work and like you rightly said, eventhough this isn’t something that happens here all the time it isn’t new to us and I wasn’t shocked, but heartbroken nonetheless the less. Continuing to pray for better days 🙏🏽

  • Alysse
    9 months ago

    You’re right. It’s like we have to remind ourselves that this isn’t normal. That being used to this thing isn’t normal. It’s truly heartbreaking.

    Alysse

  • Cynthea
    9 months ago

    Ugh, that was so beautifully written yet so hard to read. So sad what happened but I’m glad to know someone shares the same feelings as me. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rachel Ritlop
    9 months ago

    I just recently heard about this horrible tragedy and its so heartbreaking. I really do hope that all of the families and friends who were affected find peace with the ones they’ve lost.

  • Korin
    9 months ago

    This has bothered me all day. How can you just kill innocent girls who went to a concert? Everything you said was correct. I can’t get over how horrible Ariana must feel. Her pain, her sense of guilt, her sadness. I can only imagine how she only wanted to bring love and happiness and that night all she got was pain.

    I wish I knew what I can do. Yes, pray, but what can I do to STOP these attacks. Make these people know that hurting people only causes more hurt.

    I am so sad for this mother and fathers who don’t have daughters and sons coming home to them tonight. I feel their tears and pain.

    I just hurt.

    Korin
    http://www.WonderlandBoudoir.com

  • Tamara
    9 months ago

    Sadly things took an ugly turn with terrorists going after children. Its dark times right now. I worry about my own kids and their future.

  • Manavi Siddhanti
    9 months ago

    It’s sad. It’s sad to see what the world has become. My heart goes out to the people who were the victims of this horrible tragedy and to the families who lost their beloved ones. I cannot even imagine what they might be going through right now. I hope, people who are affected by this incident stay strong.

    Manavi,
    beforbeauty.com

  • Julie
    9 months ago

    Lovely piece, it is a struggle to find the words. Senseless attacks, no words.

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