Yesterday I had a lovely day. I drove to the beach with a lovely American friend and her lovely husband. We walked down lovely Southern streets, admiring lovely architecture, dreaming lovely dreams of being Southern belles. We ate lovely gluten free cupcakes, enjoyed lovely ice cream, sat in the lovely sun. It was, well, lovely.
At the end of the lovely day we headed home to eat a lovely dinner. We turned on the TV. And the loveliness stopped.
All the loveliness stopped when we saw the news that something terrible had happened yet again to my beautiful home country. Yet again, someone had decided it was within their rights to take people’s lives. People had decided to kill and hurt and scare innocent people and claim it was all in the name of religion.
This is not about religion. This is about individuals who are selfish and wrong and abhorrent. This is not about religion. It’s about humanity.
It is not about one country versus another.
It is not about politics, or about people using these events for political gain or political self-righteousness.
It’s not about a country telling another how it is all their own fault.
It’s not about already ignorant people using these events to somehow justify their ignorance and sow hatred.
It’s not about blaming a religion when religion itself condemns this.
It’s not about us reeling in the face of this, but about the photo of the woman sitting on the wreck of a blitzed house, drinking tea.
It’s about us looking after each other, looking out for each other. It’s about us changing the world and making sure this is not our ‘new normal’.
What this is about is coming and standing together. What it is about is us all remembering that whatever different views or faiths we hold, we are all one people. What it is about is people listening to each other and condemning people who play with life when they have no right to. What it is about is valuing life. What it is about is the people who fight fear with bravery, who fight hatred with love, who don’t let labels get in the way of friendship.
It’s not about them winning. It is about us – about good – winning. Every time.