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  • Richard Gerver

Why Does it Take Tragedy?

People matter right? I remember my Grandmother telling me about London during the blitz, how people young and old, rich and poor came together; a unified mass of humanity working collaboratively for the common good.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Lahore in Pakistan, a place under constant attack from extremist terrorists; attacks that go largely unreported here. I was only there for four days but I can honestly tell you that in that time I fell in love with a people under incredible threat, stress and pressure, but a people so generous in their time, love and togetherness. The more I think about it the more I realise that as I travel I see the same traits in the places I visit where tragedy or adversity has struck.


Over the last month or so, that tragedy and adversity has been largely focused here, at home; in London and Manchester. Senseless terrorist attacks and the horrors of Grenfell Tower. It is an extraordinary irony that after what has been one of the most divisive years in our recent history; polarising in fact, the month prior to the first anniversary of the BREXIT vote, has seen us come together in the shadows of evil and horror. Watching the mass community efforts after the inferno last week in Kensington was extraordinary, as were the marches of solidarity, the Jo Cox Great Get Together and the inspirational concert following the massacre in Manchester.


The old phrase has kept drifting in and out of my own consciousness over the last couple of months; we have more in common than divides us. More than ever we need to realise that human beings working collaboratively, for the common good, are an extraordinary force. We must ensure that we remember that if and when normality and calm descends again we cannot allow our mutual support and desire to help our fellow kind only show itself in times of trouble.


The best thing we can all do to honour the memories of those so tragically lost in recent events, is to resolve that we will move forward from this place, together, forever.

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© Richard Gerver