As a movie lover I read with horror the shootings that occurred during the premier of the Dark Knight Rises in Colorado. To say it was horrific would be an understatement and I can only picture what the victims felt, thought and imagined when everything was happening. Scenes that had been seen countless times in movies (maybe a theatre) were being played out and it was real! There were no cameras, lights or director shouting, action! I know the images in my head pale beside the real events, unwittingly I still imagine it when I read various accounts and see photographs. Unfortunately, this incident is a reminder of the Columbine shootings that also took place in the same state fourteen years ago. My heart, thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of the deceased and every other person affected by this tragedy.
Boko Haram has already made it a possibility for such an occurrence here in Nigeria. We live in an era of bombings, explosions and looming death. We’re now more concerned with additional possible ways of dying than ever before. Real life has managed to take on the hue of our favourite movies (be they Nollywood or Hollywood) and in some cases it’s the most violent ones that are enacted. Sadly, violence has become a tool and its disciples often times don’t tip off the larger community because of their guises. They deceive and earn the basic trust required for minimal contact when we accept them as ‘normal’.
Real life is often stranger than fiction and this has been depicted over and over again, public incidents like this demonstrate this vividly. People also have personal experiences they can point to that buttresses this point as well. Some are shocking, unpleasant, happy, irritating, annoying, surprising, sad etc., but each is emotional. Man is an emotional being and as part of his DNA he will express it in various degrees. These emotions help us cope and strike a balance when things happen. Eventually we find our feet once again and learn how to move ahead. This is a process that takes time and for the families of the deceased and surviving victims of violence it could take years. Natural disasters, wars, famine, accidents of different types, personal encounters etc can also fall into this category and the salient point is that an interval is still required in each case, albeit short or long.
Life throws several challenges our way in both the personal and public domains and the resilience of the human spirit is continually displayed when this happens. Often times we’re at our best when terrible things unite and our humanity shines through then. We should try to remember this quality daily since we cannot accurately predict when the next disaster will happen. When we do this we show others the essence of humankind and hopefully it helps them when a difficult time comes. Support is natural when bad things arise…let’s make it the norm even when they’re good.