Manchester

You hear about these things in games. You hear about these things in films. You hear about these things happening in other countries and it touches a nerve. But when you hear about these things happening in the city in which you’ve spent your whole life in, the city in which your family calls home, the city where all your loved ones reside, it causes fear and confusion to consume us.

Hearing about those who lost their lives is staggering. No life should be taken in such a way. The realisation that children and teenagers lost their lives last night in Manchester brings so much sorrow to our hearts. They were innocent and didn’t deserve what happened to them. It is sickening that they had to die before their time. It is revolting that life for some families will never be the same. It’s disgusting how these casualties will be left as a permanent scar on so many people’s memories. For those fortunate to have left unharmed, it should’ve been a night to remember for them. But last night has rapidly turned into a night that they will be trying to erase from their thoughts. Parents are left with the sickening realisation that their lives will never be the same. A lot more than just parents are affected. Friends, loved ones and even people that didn’t personally know those laid to rest are left to ponder upon such worrying facts.

Amongst all the sadness, sorrow, fear, confusion and mourning, lies feelings of anger, hatred and distress. It is what Manchester is doing with these emotions that brings hope to a challenged city. Across the population, there are people doing all they can to be of an assistance to anybody that requires it. There is a lengthy queue of people willing to donate blood, there are those who offered a place to stay to anybody who was left stranded in the city centre due to the events of last night. Last night there was even a woman who rallied over fifty children who were left exposed in town without their parents. Other hotels across the city followed suit and did the same, providing contact details for those who are still looking for lost ones. Throughout social media, people are showing their concern with “Pray For Manchester” being the phrase commonly used. Political figures and role models are sharing their views on the occurrence and showing their support for those who need it. These are just a few of the blessings being provided by people that make these tough times that little bit more bearable.

Whether they’re from Manchester or not, everybody who knows what happened last night was affected by it and is doing their part to try and amend the city. One of the positive (and I use that word cautiously) things that has come from such a dreadful time, is that the people of Manchester have showcased that they can unite and become one. It’s what we do in times like this that define us. Us people of Manchester will bounce back from this tough time and not become overcome with the negative emotions that circulate this passionate city. We will continue to be strong. We will continue to pray for Manchester.

 

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Yeah, but what if?

They say that for every action we take, there is an infinite amount of outcomes. Just think.

You’re planning to go somewhere one day. You plan to wake up early and take a train to another city. Once you get to the other city you plan to go to the centre of the busiest place. Once you get there you plan on looking closely at the people you see and observing their body language. You plan to find somebody. You plan to find somebody who notices you amongst the crowd of people, noticing them. Once you do this you’re free to go home having completed what you set out to achieve.

Okay, so imagine you get to this place and see nobody. That’s one outcome, your plan would’ve been ruined. Imagine you get there and you see somebody with a face full of sorrow. Their face is only full of sorrow because they never got to see their child walk for the first time because they spent time in jail for a crime they never did. The look on their face makes you take pity upon them. You might change your whole plan to go out of your way to help that person. Okay. Suppose the unfortunate thing happens and the train derails before you even make it to your destination. The train only derailed because a man lost his job and the realisation that he would have no money made him question living, so he stepped onto the track. That would be tragic. Suppose the train station is closed. The train station is only closed because the traffic on the motorway stopped the train station manager from reaching the station on time. Then what? Or suppose you don’t set an alarm and you don’t wake up on time, you miss the train, and don’t end up travelling this city and you don’t end up meeting anybody. You only forgot to set an alarm because you were preoccupied with reading something online before you fell asleep with the phone in your hand.

Let’s make things even weirder. Imagine you do wake up on time. Let’s imagine the person who oversees the opening the train station takes a different route to work and misses the traffic and is on time as well, and as a result of that, the train station is opened. Let’s imagine, the same suicidal person I mentioned before, narrowly avoids being struck by your train, which would’ve resulted in a major casualty and could’ve caused the train to derail, but because they avoided being hit, your train makes it safely to the new city. Let’s suppose you’re stood observing the behaviour of people, as planned. But let’s suppose, amongst the sea of people coming your way, the person you set out to see is there. However, they don’t see you because they’re rushing towards the same train station you came from because they received a phone call from a suicidal friend who came to their senses seconds before stepping in front of the very same train you arrived on.

Wouldn’t that be a coincidence? But is it a coincidence or is it fate? How do we know whether meeting this person would’ve been a good thing? Meeting this person could’ve brought masses of stress into your life. It could’ve done the complete opposite. But just imagine the idea of travelling to the other city never came into your mind. Everything I just wrote in that hypothetical situation wouldn’t have even crossed your path on that day, opening the way for something completely different to have happened. It’s the randomness of life that is the real beauty. Factoring in how the minor decisions other people make can affect our lives can be incomprehensible. Our paths are all intertwined. Just think of all the other things you could’ve done in the short space of time it took you to read this.