Well, I mentioned on Monday that after my upsetting weekend, I’d try and be more upbeat like normal on today’s post. However, I don’t feel this week’s really given us much to be upbeat and normal about.

I’m not going to launch into sanctimonious bleating about how the majority of muslims are moderates – I trust you all to know this, because you’re good guys and gals. What saddens me most is the tragic loss of fledgling life in the Peshwari school murders. How anyone, no matter how twisted or cruel, can justify the wholesale slaughter of those too young to be a threat, to be an influence, is compeltely beyond me. I cannot comprehend the blind, mindless, sickness that must go on in the heads of these boils upon humanity’s face. So much promise, cut short. So many young lives altered irrevocably. The teachers who died in horrible and painful manners; it all depresses me deeply.

Even in the face of the tragic deaths, there were prime examples of self-sacrifice. In Australia, during the Lindt coffee house hostage-taking: The manager, seizing an opportunity to attempt to end the situation by attempting to disarm the gunman and getting shot for his trouble. The woman who shielded a pregnant lady from gunfire with her own life. In Pakistan, in the school, the teachers who risked their lives and lost them by running from room to room, securing classes full of children, saving many. They were rewarded for their efforts by being set alight.

It’s tempting to simply throw in the towel and write the world off as being too screwed up, too far gone to be helped and just wait to die. But in amongst all that pain, all that suffering, there was still hope and humanity. The bastards who perpetrate these crimes, and the assholes who create the political-economic climate that breeds them – they’re the ones we need to target. Not through violence, not even just at the polling station. We need to unite as people, a modern unified society that crosses borders and respects and learns from other cultures. We need to improve and learn from each other, to discover that those in different circumstances are not so different as people. We need to instill hope again, we need to enlighten those who believe power and money are the be-all and end-all of life. Altruism and the advancement of humanity’s knowledge and health may be naive, near-impossible goals to achieve.

But dammit, isn’t it better than trying to out-do each other?

M.