Thursday 11th March. Bletchingley, England.
No amount of prose is going to relieve the pain of the Spanish people today, no live televison footage is going to bring back the dead to their families, and no number of full colour photographs or newspaper stories with gory phrases are going to help people recover from this horrible, cowardly attack on innocent people.
What can I say except "don't let the bastards beat you." As we all build taller fences around our homes, and retreat into our supposedly 'safe' little lives, what sort of world are we creating for ourselves? Every cancelled overseas vacation, every time we think twice about boarding a plane, every time we say something like "The world's not a safe place anymore" or "These days, you just can't...", every racist remark, every time we look at someone with suspicion, the terrorists gain a little more power. We apparently can't control what these horrid people do, but we can always control how we react to it. Every time we hold a door open for the person behind us, every time we invite the new neighbours over for dinner, every time we strike up a conversation with the person at the next table in a cafe, or greet the bank teller with a smile, or help a tourist with directions, we take back a little of what the terrorists want to destroy. We have to understand that there is no motive behind these random attacks, the people responsible for them aren't struggling for freedom from oppression, they're not trying to bring worldwide attention to their plight- not that that would make it any less barbaric. The terrorists' entire motivation in killing and maiming innocent people, is to divide us, to spread fear, mistrust and to ultimately create chaos. They want us to live in a world of terror, where we're afraid of our neighbours, where we hate everyone who's different, where we're too scared to live our lives. I say screw 'em! That sounds like being dead, and just not knowing it. I'm off to Spain.