After the act of terrorism occurred, the city took on a customary yet remarkable posture. Though societies have now evolved to such an understanding of human behavior, it is still wonderful to witness an advanced civilization leveraging its abilities for good.
Compassion for the offenders is the most striking difference from times passed. In spots, history had seen it before. But now it is immediate and automatic: Crowds gather to mourn for and render love to the wrongdoers – individuals so seriously afflicted and hurt they felt it necessary to communicate through acts intended to harm others. People now universally comprehend that such lashing out is a cry for help, and as they congregate the conversation naturally turns to a prevailing question, “What more can we do to prevent others feeling similarly disenfranchised and angry?”
The incident also sets off a global sense of calm and an extraordinary awareness for the gift of life. Friends and family are reminded that their existence is immeasurably fragile – to make the most of every moment and be grateful for inner peace and happiness that not everyone enjoys. Thankfully we have learned to honor death by being even more appreciative of our very next breath.
Patently, the 24-hour news cycle is on repeating loop showing acts of empathy, exemplifying the good in our world and the flight to love that rightfully overwhelms us after these rare but impactful episodes. For their part, law enforcement spend the bulk of their efforts growing from the incident by learning new ways to respond while furthering the composure and goodwill that percolates in its aftermath. Other authorities such as elected officials preach togetherness and affection for the transgressors, knowing we are not perfect and need occasional reminding of what helped us eliminate terrorism in the first place: compassion. Their leadership reminds us that the decreasing pace of terrorism in our world was precipitated by the increasing presence of our own kindness.
Over the course of time, our empathetic response to terrorism has all but eradicated it. These occurrences are now few and far between – unwelcomed but apparently necessary reminders that when it comes to compassion, we still have some room to grow.
(The above is attainable only if we take the unfortunate opportunity provided by terror to improve ourselves.)