29 April 2013
Today I was walking with a client and on the way to his office my eye caught a glimpse of a TV. On the ticker I read the words Times Square and terrorist attack in close proximity. As soon as we entered the office I asked my host to excuse me while I fished out my phone and typed the words which had caught my attention in my phone’s search app. It turned out that the ticker did not refer to an event that had taken place but was a press release by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which he said that the Boston Marathon bombing suspects planned to detonate the rest of their explosives in Times Square. Thank God this disaster was averted.
When I returned back to my office the first thing I did was to call up Wikipedia and after a few clicks I got to a page titled “List of terrorist incidents, January–June 2013” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_January%E2%80%93June_2013. I was taken aback by the fact that between January and April of 2013 (we’re still 2 months short of June) there have been 70 incidents registered as being terrorist attacks. This made me think, although at the end I did not feel any wiser.
Those behind acts of terror will be successful when they instill a fear of others. Many true democracies have embroiled within them the right of their citizens to live a life that guarantees serenity irrespective of their physical appearance and their beliefs provided that their actions do not take away the serenity and like rights of others.
Do democracies mean a good life? No. Millions of Americans are today suffering because of the financial crisis that has pulled down many nations for the past 5 years. Today there are people for whom the basic necessities of live seem to be distancing themselves.
Do democracies mean that everything is all right all the time? No. We live in a society that is more litigious than ever before and issues such as the environment, spending on military and the right of privacy make life a constant battle to protect what one feels is paramount to their well-being and the well-being of the democracy they form part of.
A democracy is that thing which allows us to not fear having an opinion and not fear wanting to better ourselves. More importantly democracies hinder the process of labelling groups of people based on the colour of their skin or the deity they worship. Terror’s main aim is to hack away at this pillar.
It is not easy to tell someone who has lost a loved one or the victim who no longer has a limb that they must be democratic but by collectively holding their hand we can give them the strength and support they need during difficult times.
I am encouraged by the likes of Adrianne Haslet-Davis. The Boston terror attack destroyed nearly every bone and muscle in her left ankle and foot, and both had to be amputated. Haslet-Davis, who is a dancer, insisted that the injury won't stop her from dancing again. In fact, she said she plans to run the Boston Marathon next year.