The world went to bed last night with a heavy heart after hearing about the terrorist attack in Manchester, England. The attack that killed 22 during an Ariana Grande concert was absolutely brutal. I feel as if this attack will hit hardest among teenagers around the world, especially since it was an attack on music and its youngest fans. In the aftermath of such an awful event, I wanted to remind us all of the good in the world that we cannot let fear win. Please share with anyone who needs these words this morning, especially teenagers.
1. Music Will Not Stop Being a Safe Place
Music is one of the greatest things to exist in the world. The victims of the Manchester attack were enjoying a concert when terror struck. I can’t help but feel as if this is an attack on music and the safe haven it offers people from the world. Music has empowered me, brought tears to my eyes, and allowed me to dance all silly with my best friends during concerts. The minute I heard about the attack, I immediately reconsidered going to concert this summer. To think that the magic of music died last night is awfully terrifying, but we can’t let it stay dead. We must continue to dance at concerts, go out with our friends, and enjoy social events.
2. You Can’t Stop Living
The world is an ugly, ugly place sometimes. It’s awful to imagine what must be going through someone’s head when they are about to blow up themselves and everyone around them. It’s difficult to understand terrorism unless you imagine yourself in the situation of the victims. However, we cannot allow fear to stop us from living life. That is the true intention of a terrorist attack: to spread as much fear as possible to those who weren’t even involved. All of us must continue to step out into the world and live our lives, even after this event and other tragedies.
3. Terrorism Does Not Have a Faith
There is already rumors that the terror group ISIS is responsible for this attack. ISIS’s name in the media always brings up discussion about “radical Islamic terrorism.” We cannot allow the media to make blanket statements about Muslims or fuel the pervasive fear that Muslims everywhere are terrorists. Check out my interview with a Muslim right’s activist for more information.
4. Young People Can Change the World
An attack like this can make young people feel powerless. I felt much fear and sadness after just hearing about the event, so I cannot possibly imagine what someone who witnessed the attack and lived is feeling today.
What we have to remember is that young people are extremely powerful. We have a voice. Already this year alone teenagers around the world have protested political policies, worked at charities in their local communities, and used their voices to make a difference in society. Though this attack brings fear that could silence that voice for a few days, teenagers everywhere must continue to speak out and work on behalf of bettering the world. We have to continue to have a voice, despite the fear. Do something for someone else today. Talk about the attack with your classmates. Whatever it is, have a voice even after the attack silenced the voices of other young people. Don’t let it silence yours.