At times like this, people who are disconnected have the luxury of picking how they want to feel. One death is a tragedy, a million death is a statistic. Joseph Stalin. Except that statistic is happening in your back yard, like seeing individual tiny green seedlings begin to poke out of the ground at the first sight of spring.
Who benefits from statistics alone? Nobody, probably. But if you can do something that will push a statistic one percentage one way or the other, you can tell yourself that you make something of yourself. But, like a tree falling in a forest, the simple act of it coming down to earth doesn’t mean that people will start caring about deforestation. It’s only when people start counting that statistics matter.
When they see their own statistic, the numbers injured, sent to the hospital, the number of phone calls coming in to check up, the endless stream of sirens… that’s when they know they they won. This is when people begin to process it all; whether to be sad, or to be mad. But when the news pops up, telling of the man, his face, what he did, and how… people are provoked into madness– blinded– and that person has won.
That’s terrorism. A terrorist is someone who wants to inflict terror, to make people fear going out because something similar could happen to them– without warning. Should people be mad? Yes. Should people be sad? Yes. But should people allow this person, their acts to rule their consciousness? No, because that’s the only way we can win against them.