I still cant get the pictures of millions of Spanish citizens on the streets out of my mind. I have posted a fair bit about the tragedy further down this page.
It strikes me that when we face danger, we tend to unite. I get the feeling though that there may have already been a greater spirit of solidarity in Spain than there is in either the UK or the US. My friends in the US may be able to correct me, but I don’t believe that there were millions of marchers in the streets after 911. That is not to say that there wasnt a sense of solidarity there of course- the whole western world surely felt it after 911. Just maybe that the sense of community was less strong before the events so it had further to go?
Anyway, we must recognise from these events the truth of those old words ‘no man is an island’. We need each other, and when events like this happen we recognise that connections exist after all.
It makes me feel that Western individualism has gone too far. Perhaps it would be harder for terrorists to work if we all knew our neighbours. If strangers moved into flat 212 and unlike everyone else kept themselves distant from their neighbours suspicions might arrise. If good old fashioned curtain twitching revealed what they were up to, perhaps terrorists would find it harder to operate.
If we all felt more connected to each other, and more responsible for the actions of others, perhaps murders would be less frequent.
I guess this is linked in a way to the posts I have been making on the church- church is nothing if it isnt a community. Without such communities we all begin to decline in our sense of connectedness. I can understand those who have no faith not being a part of a church, but for those who do have a faith it just makes no sense to me. Actually even for those with no faith, especially at this time, we should be providing ways of extending our communities to include those who may never attend a church on Sunday.
Gosh, radical thought I know, but maybe we should even be trying to build bridges with the more moderate muslim and other faith communities in our areas. Friendships that cross divides must make it harder for extremists to recruit in such communities.
Have you noticed how the lone gunman and the terrorist both seem to be alike in appearing usually to be disconnected from society, and often even their families?
We need to build strong communities where people know each other. This must protect us from the menace that so often hides among us. Those who will not join any sense of community can then be watched more closely by all of us, and the law enforcement agencies.
There is an enemy working within our societies which makes some feel excluded from them. If these people could see what freedom, justice, tolerance and the opportunity to better themeselves really meant- would they oppose it?
If people at the bus stop spoke to them, and showed an interest in their wellbeing, would it be so easy for terrorists to plan their deaths as ‘infidels’?
This may sound very liberal, and I am not suggesting for a moment that such actions are all we need to do. But a rebirth of the notion of ‘society’ seems the wisest thing that ordinary citizens can do in this new world order in which we live.
Like 9/11, 3/11 will change the world. Lets hope we respond in a way to make it a better place.