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This was the letter to my reader team I sent out today, the day before my new book was going to be published. It was supposed to be a reminder and a request for reviews but became something completely different.
I was going to write to you to remind that Space Witches 1: The Book of Witches will be out on Amazon tomorrow. You know, the “don’t forget my book, please leave a review” –post as you are a member of my reader team.
Well, to be honest I am not much in the mood.
You see I live in Turku, Finland where an insane act of violence took place last Friday. The police is investigating the matter as a terrorist attack. An 18-year-old man running, stabbing and killing people, targeting women especially. Our quiet little city is even more quiet than usually – people are sad, not believing this could have happened here, in the marketplace and on the streets we walk every week.
My coworker had just parked her car and suddenly, just as she was about to get out of the car she remembered her cell phone was not on. She took it from her bag, put it on – and at that moment the killer ran past her car. If she had stepped out of her car a moment earlier she would have been right in front of him and we would be mourning for a friend. The people running after the killer were shouting for everyone to flee, my coworker backed her car out of the parking place and drove away – a police car drove in front of her, stopped and from within that car they shot the terrorist just as he was trying to cut one lady’s throat. (The lady survived, the attacker is arrested, waiting for trial).
And another coworker is sobbing behind me – the young woman killed at the market place was her husband’s cousin. A sweet, kind girl.
The sea of candles and flowers and poems in the market place where it all started is growing by the minute. Silent people standing, comforting each other. You have seen this in the news before and perhaps thought it would not happen where you live. I know I did. And then it happened.
But from the midst of all this hope rises. The moment the attacker started his horrible deed people ran to help those who were attacked. They threw cafeteria chairs on the attacker, they chased him along the streets, trying to stop him. And this was not just native Finns. Two Muslim men were stabbed when they ran between the knives and the women. Immigrants ran to the victims lying on the street, trying to save their lives. Two women died, but eight survived. People of different ethnic origins, skin color and religions were doing their best, together, in an impossible situation.
And was there hate-talk towards immigrants? Of course. But surprisingly little. The strongest feeling now seems to be that we will go through this together.
If anything of this kind ever happens to you or your loved ones, feeling anger and hate in the beginning is only normal. The way you express your anger is what separates you from the terrorists. Do not lash out on innocent people who are of the same social / ethnic group as the wrongdoer. Because that is exactly what the masterminds behind these brainwashed people want. They want to spread hatred and try to make the very foundations of the society crumble – so that they could rise to a position of power. Because that is all this is – greed for power. They may dress their greed in the garment of religious rightenousness or whatever, but trust me. It is all about power over others.
I refuse to be played, to be a pawn that reacts in an expected way to acts of terrorism. I refuse to act with hatred. The best revenge to these murderers is to continue with your life, to show kindness to others and to know the vast majority of human kind consists of ordinary people. Ordinary people who want to be in good terms with each other. Ordinary people who want to have a normal life, to work, to pay their bills, to find interesting things to do, to search for a meaning in life.
I wish you will never have to face a situation like this and continue to have a peaceful, joyful, normal life. And remember to show your love and respect to the people around you whenever you can. Maybe this way you assure others they are worthy of respect and love and don’t need to hate others.
In hope of a better world,