Music remains one of the few aspects of life that has transcended borders, unifying people through their appreciation of the art form. Around the world, people can temporarily disregard their worries in a celebration of music – making the May bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, all the more horrifying.
As a teenager living in Downers Grove, I witnessed the reactions from my friends and peers when they learned about the bombings. There were many questions as we reflected upon what the violence meant: Were concerts now a place that we, too, had to worry about the potential for terror attacks? We all knew these were not the first terror-based instances of violence, yet hearing of the deaths of children at a venue in which they were supposed to be carefree was heartbreaking and frightening.
The conversations that arose after the attacks, however, were notable. We weighed the benefits of the increased security against the potential for violence by those viewing the terror attacks in Manchester as a model. Everyone had different opinions and solutions.
Yet, in a time succeeding an act of violence, it is important to keep several things in mind:
1. We must not allow the actions of a few to enforce the stereotypes of many. Although the suicide bomber who carried out the attacks was Muslim, he does not represent Islam. We cannot let the violence fostered by some taint our impression of an entire religion. This applies for any race, creed, religion and culture. The stereotypes only fuel hatred in a time when we should be focused on peace.
2. We must be diligent in seeking the truth. News travels fast, and facts can get muddled. Before passing judgment or spreading inflammatory content, we need to make sure the information is corroborated by legitimate sources.
3. We must unify. America is an incredibly diverse nation, and although our differences can occasionally lead to conflict, we must learn to accept what makes each of us unique.
It is no secret we are in the midst of a conflicted time in history. Everyone has different opinions about how the world should be run. In times of trouble, it is important that we attempt to create a better society for ourselves and our future. Doesn’t a better world sound like music to your ears?
Downers Grove resident Katherine Gross will be a junior at Downers Grove North High School this upcoming school year. She is passionate about journalism and hopes to go into political journalism in the future. In the meantime, she enjoys playing sports, spending time with her friends and family, and traveling.