The horrendous events that occurred in Brussels on Monday 22/3/2016 horrified me; they didn’t surprise me - just made me sad. Sad for those who lost their lives - including the suicide bombers who were deluded into giving their lives for a cause that, to many, is incomprehensible.
Why am I not surprised? I’m female, Irish and European; I know my gender’s, my country’s, my continent’s history, I know the extremes misogyny/religion/nationalism, and/or the perceived lack of a heard voice, humanity can commit. In both Ireland and Europe we are familiar with the appalling cruelty humans are capable of - particularly when we dehumanize others. There is no justification for depriving A.N. Other of the one thing that we have in common. In the words of the great Alan Bleasedale ' we all - 'live and breathe and fart after four lagers and lime'.
All those who died have family – mothers, fathers, children or siblings perhaps, extended family certainly, friends who love them; people who are hurting now because the other human they cared for is gone, leaving that person sized hole in their lives.
An intolerance of the ‘other’, a lack of any attempt to ‘walk in my shoes’ can very quickly get out of hand – as History has shown us. It is time we grew up as a species – we should aim to follow the lead of Antoine Leiris and stop hating; together ‘we are more powerful than all the World’s armies’ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/17/bataclan-paris-victim-helene-muyal-husband-antoine-leiris-killers-open-letter
With those who lost loved ones yesterday, indeed on any day, I empathise; as for the rest of us, let us not hate – it will lead us again into the abyss.