Yesterday morning the Teen turned on the television and sat glued to it. Nothing strange about that in itself but this time she wasn’t watching Dance Moms or Channel V.
No. What was playing out was a real-time, real life situation in the heart of Sydney.
A place we visited not more than a few months ago.
In the midst of preparing my juices for the day, I wandered over to the TV to have a look. At that time they showed an image of two woman hostages with their faces pressed against the window of the Lindt store. The fear on their faces made me cry.
I had to walk away.
Thankfully, family issues forced us away from the news coverage for the rest of the day as I couldn’t stand watching it but the Teen and the GG did.
When we got home, I looked at FB to find the feed filled confusion, hate, racism and armchair experts. Since I already had a headache, I shut it down and took my headache to bed only to awake this morning to more hate, racism and further opinions from armchair experts.
This has caused my heart to ache even further.
I was involved in an armed hold up once. It was frightening and impacted my life in such a way that I can still see it in my minds eye as if it only occurred yesterday. I shudder to think what is going on now in the minds of those who came through the hostage drama yesterday with their lives.
I don’t want to listen to some ‘expert’ brought in by the news crews to speak on this. I don’t want to know if the police could have handled it any differently.
What I do want to know is whether these people are receiving the expert assistance that they require right now?
Are they being told that they are loved?
Is there someone to sit beside them and hold them when they wake in the night trembling and crying from the images that haunt their sleep as well as their waking hours?
Have the news crews forgotten that these are real people who have suffered an incredibly frightening experience?
Sadly, the world’s media are going to focus on the gunman/hostage taker and what he stood for. They are going to delve into his police record and query why he was out on the streets. They will look at his religion and political leanings. They are going to look for a scapegoat. Someone or something to blame.
It is telling that there was only one reporter I saw on Channel 7 yesterday who said “I have no idea what the poor people inside are going through. I feel for them.”
And what about those not directly involved but who are still impacted by it?
The perpetrator of this crime has a family. Are they receiving the assistance that they require? I have seen calls on social media for his family to be killed along with him!
Is that really the society that we have now? That we have lost the capacity for human kindness and decency?
There are no winners in the situation that occurred yesterday.
Not the victims. Not the emergency service personnel. Not politicians. Not the families of the victims. Not the perpetrator.
I think people forget that we are all human beings and that we all have the same coloured blood running through our veins.
I pray for compassion in this crazy world.