On Sept. 30, the terror that we’ve seen in other countries came home to Canada when a man in Edmonton rammed his vehicle into a police officer, jumping out and stabbing the officer before running into more pedestrians during the police chase.
The next night, there was the Las Vegas shooting.
Amongst the images and stories from the horrific events that we’ve witnessed over the past couple of weeks in Edmonton and Las Vegas, there have been a few rays of hope.
Especially in Las Vegas, where complete strangers pitched in to help each other — offering a T-shirt to be used as a bandage, helping others find safety or even helping other victims find cover.
As much as the actions of these terrorists say about the how low humanity can sink, it says a lot about the triumph of human spirit that when the chips were down, there were people whose first instinct is to help others.
As hard as these images are to see, it’s important to not follow that very human instinct to turn always and say ‘I don’t want to see this.’
It’s not enjoyable for journalists either. Most of us would like nothing better than to only cover good news stories; but the fact is tragedy happens and turning our heads will never make the horrors go away.
What might, though, is understanding and empathy, the first steps to change. Given all the tragedy the world has seen, especially in this century, that seems like a forlorn hope.
Paying attention to Edmonton, Las Vegas and other tragedies isn’t supposed to be enjoyable. But we need to understand the darkness, and each other, to end the hatred.
And we need to see the humanity that shines through these dark events. That is what gives us hope that change, creeping slow though it may be, is possible. We must have hope.