Finding way from the terror

Members of the public during the candlelight vigil in Trafalgar Square, London to remember those who lost their lives in the Westminster terrorist attack. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Members of the public during the candlelight vigil in Trafalgar Square, London to remember those who lost their lives in the Westminster terrorist attack. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

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I wasn’t going to write about the terror attack in London.

After all, I wasn’t there.

People light candles at a vigil for the victims of Wednesday's attack, at Trafalgar Square in London, Thursday, March 23, 2017. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for an attack by a man who plowed an SUV into pedestrians and then stabbed a police officer to death on the grounds of Britain's Parliament. Mayor Sadiq Khan called for Londoners to attend a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on Thursday evening in solidarity with the victims and their families and to show that London remains united. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

People light candles at a vigil for the victims of Wednesday's attack, at Trafalgar Square in London, Thursday, March 23, 2017. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for an attack by a man who plowed an SUV into pedestrians and then stabbed a police officer to death on the grounds of Britain's Parliament. Mayor Sadiq Khan called for Londoners to attend a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on Thursday evening in solidarity with the victims and their families and to show that London remains united. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The reality is I only know how it played out via phone videos and CCTV via news outlets including our own.

I don’t know how those people, caught up in terror as they went about their day, felt as the world disintegrated around them.

But I’m British, a journalist and a human being and like most people I’m struggling to get the tragedies of Wednesday out of my mind.

Convention says we should report on it with as much sensitivity and accuracy as possible, wonder at its horrors and carry on with the next story.

That’s what we do.

The show must go on.

Or should it?

The country has been full of that very British sense of proud and defiant resignation.

Parliament opened as normal.

The tube operated as normal.

Social media users compete to put out well-meaning memes citing sympathy, heroes and pride while others use it as an excuse to hate.

Around the country, while the families of those lost and injured grieve and worry, the message to terrorists is – London, England, Britain – is open for business.

Like a swan gliding serenely on a pond, life goes on, while underneath the murky water its legs and those of police, government and medical services work urgently to solve, mend, soothe and take action.

If they didn’t, like the swan, we would never move on and seek answers, solution and a safe shore.

We don’t want to let terrorists destroy our way of life.

But they have.

Every time a horror occurs, we change a little bit.

Every time a new outlet reports on a breaking incident, it does so a little differently.

Every time the innocent lose their lives we find someone new to blame, to generalise.

Every time we play a little bit into the hands of the terrorists who know however calmly we react, we are reacting.

How could we not?

Our world is changing at the hands of extremists – but horrors do not have to beget horrors, they can also be a force for positive change.

Because we may not have been there but we do care.