My Mind is on Manchester

My Mind is on Manchester

Even the sprawling Victorian metropolis of Manchester, one of the most culturally diverse cities in Europe, stood up to help and comfort the victims on that tragic night. Homeless men were seen holding massacred victims who had been caught in the explosion, and were wrapping their wounds in clean clothes, and comforting them as they left this life behind.  Even those who have sunk so far below the supposed-standards of society can rise to the occasion when innocent life is at stake. 

There is a new kind of evil across the world, and it comes from a place not even worth hating.  This evil comes from ignoring those who are desperate for attention; this evil comes from unfulfilled desires and these cold-blooded murderers call on God to save them from a self-perpetuated mess. 

Though there is a sincere ignorance in those who do not tolerate and respect the religions and cultures of others, Manchester is and always has been a city that envelopes and perpetuates new cultural norms and standards because it is a true home to all those who love it in return.  Manchester is one of the most welcoming places that I have ever been and I am proud to have very close friends and family there.  What we cannot forget from the three terror attacks the United Kingdom has endured in three months is not only the horrors put upon the world, but the innocent life that was looking eagerly for acceptance in the world. And we need to remember the hatred that caused this. Perhaps we as a society need to learn that anger and hatred is what fueled this young man’s black heart.  Though we have every right to feel anger, and we should, it is natural to express and share that anger.  What is unnatural is to suppress it and let it build into a hate which is undeserving of the beautiful attention of life. 

Manchester is a city built on the backs of men, women and children; the central origin of the Industrial Revolution, symbolized by the frantic business of the bee.  The people of Manchester are the bees of the world.  The world would not have most of the developments we take for granted without the loss of life and limb from these people.  Appalachians especially have some of the oldest cultural roots in the Scottish Highlands, Wales, Ireland North and South, and the United Kingdom, particularly towards the north where Manchester dominates, itself a melting pot of Gaelic immigrants.

As we always hurt the ones we love because we know they will still love us, it seems equally as true for the victims across the globe.  Though it is physically impossible to take in the daily atrocities across the globe, and to truly take to heart the suffering of innocents that would destroy the mind of any person, we cannot allow ourselves to become numb to the pain.  I found myself angered recently by the pure lack of care and attention given by certainly more than one person I have talked to in the U.S.  There is the possibility of not knowing about an event, but to not care about details, to me, has its own sort of negligent cruelty to it. 

When talking with a friend the other day about these attacks and my family returning to the UK, I was met by a mere response of “Hmmm.” I asked if they had heard about the attack, and they said, “Yeah, that’s great.”  Now I knew they weren’t listening.  A few days later I overheard the oft-repeated comment, “I would never travel to London now.” These are the fundamental problems of society that contribute to the creation of people whose only purpose is to end life.  The apathy behind comments shows the goldfish think tanks that we have fallen to.  Through these comments and lack of action we let evil win.  Through the commonly ignored members of society breeds hateful ideology.  Appalachia can be thought of as the Northern England of the United States.  Just like the commonly ignored Northern industrial backbone of the United Kingdom, Appalachian people are sincerely at risk by their power through industry and resources, open atmosphere and neglected people of society.  Let us not only learn from these incidents and change to save ourselves, but also take to heart and truly care for the other.  You don’t have to love the other, as I don’t think it is humanly possible to truly love those who take what you love away, but truly care for and pay true attention to the other.  Don’t just pause and think, but act and do for the other in ways you think are risky. Perhaps a reciprocity can be built across nations. 

Just as the brave men and women who died trying to save some of the younger people attending this tragic event, their last moments on earth were spent acknowledging their impending death and a true willingness to make way for new life, in spite of the fact that no death should have occurred here.  What makes this attack particularly heinous is the targeting of a younger population.  Though I was afraid to send my family back to Manchester the day after the attack, I felt more invigorated by the city’s lightning response of unity against terror.  We know very little about the feelings and sentiments of honeybees, but we do know that they create a sort of ritual that respects their dead and dying; enough in fact to have an entire population within their society of undertaker bees which carry the dead and the dying from the hive to make way for the new bees. It is a microcosm of care that we can still learn a lot from.


Even the sprawling Victorian metropolis of Manchester, one of the most culturally diverse cities in Europe, stood up to help and comfort the victims on that tragic night. Homeless men were seen holding massacred victims who had been caught in the explosion, and were wrapping their wounds in clean clothes, and comforting them as they left this life behind. Even those who have sunk so far below the supposed-standards of society can rise to the occasion when innocent life is at stake.