In the aftermath of yet another horrific incident i.e the Boston bombings we ‘normal’ human beings are left reeling at the unfathomable motives behind it.
We have all seen the shocking pictures of casualties and of the 2 calm faces of the suspects mingling amongst the crowds. What are they thinking? Who can even begin to understand how their minds work. They are part of the human race yet so far on the edge, out of the norm that no person with any empathy with fellow marathoners in our human race can comprehend.
We feel outrage and sick to our stomachs that they can engineer to do something so devastating to others, are they so full of hatred that it had made them unhinged? Whatever way we try to fathom it we never will. There will be more to follow and more tragedy for innocent people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
On the other hand look instead the wealth of human kindness and selflessness witnessed by those that rushed forwards to help the injured with no thought for themselves. They did not personally know the victims, they did not know that more bombs were not about to go off. They did not know that buildings may fall and endanger themselves. They just acted on instinct to help others. There may have been more in the death toll if not for these people.
The striking image of the poor man in the wheelchair with severed legs and the helpers,one of which is physically clamping his femoral artery closed to stem the life ending flow of blood. If not for his actions the man could well have bled to death in the mayhem. These are the people you want to be around, god forbid we should ever find ourselves in similar circumstances. And who are ‘these’ people?
These real life heroes are all around us every day. The man we pass on the street on our way to work, the lady on the bus, the people we may even judge in a negative way because they are different. Look around you tomorrow, should you ever unfortunately be in the wrong place at the wrong time and something terrible happens, the chances are there is someone in the vicinity that would jump to your aid and potentially save your life.
So go on why not smile at a stranger today because you never know that stranger could turn out to be your saviour one day.
There is an unseen link that binds
As strong as iron and thick as concrete,
Yet sensitive as a butterflies wings.
It can never be broken and will never go away,
Unspoken words heard loud and clear,
A look, a sigh, an ‘I’m OK’.
The knowing, the feeling, intense and clear.
I hear you. I feel you. I see you.
Though a mile or a thousands are in between
It will never weaken and never fade.
Your hopes and fears are mine
Your sadness and trials I feel.
Through bad words and good,
It goes one way and so it should
Don’t get me wrong I am a bit of a social media junkie. I am involved in most of the top social media sites out there. It is a phenomenon of the 21st century which cannot be avoided and is best embraced or get left behind so to speak. Any 20 odd year old readers don’t know any different but everything is out there nowadays warts and all. Most of it is a positive experience but like most things in life there is a dark side.
For instance it first came to my attention when a young boy in my daughters school aged 18 died tragically in a skiing accident several years ago and the ‘trolling’ community decided to make a spoof Facebook page to ridicule and Photoshop images of him with obnoxious comments which were of the utmost bad taste. I found it quite unbelievable that there were such minds out there who would do this for fun.. I delved further to find that there was a whole community that looked for RIP pages and did the same for many other young people. I discovered pages way more shocking than the original. How upsetting for friends and family to discover these in the depth of their grief. However I put it down to a small faction of disunited youths ( or not so young) that took pleasure in others shock reactions and misery.
But then the Boston Marathon Tragedy. Any normal human being has feelings of sympathy and outrage but no, I have discovered on Twitter (and I haven’t gone looking!) some really bad taste jokes getting many likes. Anyone suggesting it is wrong/distasteful is shot down and told not to look and if you don’t find it funny to unfollow. I have seen on Facebook spoof pictures of an 8-year-old child running apparently in the marathon in aid of the Sandy Hook kids. It is shared by many genuine, caring people but it is FALSE! All in aid of their post going viral and getting recognition, for what, I really don’t get. The child is apparently alive and well. How disturbing for the parents/family
Then there are the images, there is an etiquette in journalism that you can only show so much graphic detail and it has strict boundaries, rightly so, as no to offend. Not so in cyberland, anything goes as freedom of speech/right to know. I have seen photos of the Boston marathon of victims with their legs blown off in shreds (on Instagram) with captions like ‘As a Muslim this makes me smile!’ and the following tasteless comments. Of people dead or dying with made up stories surrounding the image just to get more hits!
It got me thinking that (god forbid) I was ever in a situation such as the Boston Bombing, I too could be photographed and ridiculed. The image of me dead or dying with some spoof cover story brandished around Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc would be there for friends and family to stumble across at any time. I personally find this a gross invasion of personal rights as a human being.
Social media is a good thing generally but there is a true dark side that has no rules, regulations or human decency. Is this freedom of speech? I, like the majority of humankind find the people who place bombs to kill and maim as many people as possible impossible to comprehend. However I find the many people who jump on these incidents for their own ends equally disturbing.
So do we have to adjust that in the new world order of social media that we are all vulnerable to this kind of unwanted exposure in the hour of our greatest need!?
I rediscovered this ancient cemetery in my home town of Sheffield, in the middle of a busy city where no one really goes and found its unique atmosphere quite etherial. I took quite a few photos there and wrote this poem.
An ancient city Cemetery, hidden from view,
Full of bygone people, who were just passing through
From one dimension to a different plane,
Released at last from their lingering pain.
A calm, tranquil place where nobody goes,
Reclaimed by nature, ivy and dog rose.
The eerie silence deafens my ears,
Do I hear voices from across the years?
Of people with lively and interesting lives
The children and husbands with beautiful wives.
Huge mausoleums, graves, intricate tombs
Cradling their bones like a mother’s womb.
No matter what status in life that we had
How rich or poor, good or bad
We end up alone, turned into stone
And Nature will claim us back as her own.
Kaleidoscopic eyes, unseeing,
Colours running, merging,
Cascading before my darkened eyes.
Seeing nothing but seeing more than the eye can see!
Burst of currents in warm waves pass through,
I am here but not with you, not even with myself.
I am scattered in the universe, free, unshackled
by my earthly form, taking flight.
Perhaps this is my soul, my spirit released
for just a moment in time. A glimpse into eternity
to search the realms of the unknown,
For there is more than we can know
More than anyone can know.
Then like an atom coming together
I am whole again, heavy and grounded.
Back to the confines of reality.
And then come the tears, but not of sadness,