Sometimes quality-of-life is sitting on the banks of a frozen lake watching the sun go down, until the sun fades below the treetops and its warmth replaced by a biting chill, the very air turning from golden yellow to a saturated blue. And I knew that winter still held its clutches on this world but spring made its promise, promise to arrive soon.
Sometimes quality of life is sitting at the edge of a cliff in the middle of the forest and let the sun warm your skin with gentle kisses and let the wind cool it down, for spring is not yet come but it is coming – the world has tilted. Soon.
My forte has always been stories never commentary on current events. So I will tell you a story that is common among sci-fi writers and creators. For to get that perfect world to mold to our imagined set of ideals, first we have to let the one we know burn. Destroy reality so to speak. In these worlds dictators become presidents, xenophobia, racism and hate rule the common people’s opinions, thoughts and feelings. They want those “other folks” out, close the borders and retreat into a ”safe” shell of a nation that inevitably will no longer be great. The war of choice is usually World War III. A sneaking war that ”no one ever saw coming” until it exploded across the globe, only ashes and fires in its wake. It is a war against terrorism, the west vs the east, good vs bad – though the labels are as hollow as the definition. It’s like claiming science is magic just because you don’t understand it or comprehend it yet.
”You won’t break Stockholm. Stockholm stands strong.” That’s a headline that one newspaper had the morning after the terror attack in Stockholm on April 7th 2017. Though it was written in the hour following the attack.
I want to make a disclaimer; I know about London, I know about Syria, I know. But those weren’t in a place where I was supposed to have been, if not simple procrastination and laziness made me postpone that particular trip. And a bout of severe hay fever. The thing is; it’s the first time this has happened to Sweden. Sure we had the bomber in 2010 who managed to kill only himself. We had those 2 political assassinations. But never an attack on Sweden, on its public and heart, never one that has taken innocent lives, one that was deliberate. Not in my lifetime.
But just a breath into the aftermath the city and population that others call cold and reserved adapted. In the wake of the truck people rushed to the wounded, to get everyone to safety. 30 minutes in and the hashtag #openstockholm trended. No one called for prayers, or thoughts (though they were welcome), they told the world that there was pancakes and hugs for those who needed it. I have been utterly disgusted by the tweets I’ve read from around the world accusing a whole religion of the actions of a lone wolf, who calls for our borders to close, to kick out all those others, people say we had it coming. They condemn and sneer at Sweden and Swedes in a time of tragedy, condemning our warmth, our kindness and for being human in the face of inhuman pain. Sure, our systems do fail sometimes but we prevail. As many of our royal members and politicians and celebs and people have said; we will get through this. And we’ll do it together. That includes everyone.
Fanatics and terrorists see an open democracy as weak, see our freedom and rules and laws as a weakness to exploit, a way to tumble our society into chaos.
So on Friday afternoon it became a town struck by despicable terror and violence, yet Stockholm and its people responded with dignity, a cool calm, with warmth and courage, resistance and kindness. And Love. Everywhere humanity reigned and it made me proud to be Swedish. The haters, the trolls, the racists and xenophobes tried to voice their horrid hate and propaganda to spread fear and do exactly what terrorists wants us to do – and we all flatly refused to let them gain momentum on this tragic day. It was the little things, but they made all the difference. And that’s a strength those fanatics will never understand. Their organizations will crumble and fall, but we and our society will not, we will grow stronger and flourish.
So here is my message: Keep calm, have courage, focus, be kind and breathe. Don’t believe the rumors, listen for the truth. (No fake news here, thanks!) Don’t be afraid, stand tall. Terrorists want us to be scared, to be lost and act aggressively towards those who don’t look like ourselves – do. not. let. them. win.
Say what you will about this country but today, a day of chaos and crisis, we all united and worked efficiently and competently together. Our brothers and sisters in Scandinavia voiced their support as well as those in EU and the world. It just goes to show that when you attack one of us we’re no longer single nations but one. One front. You may beat us but we won’t break.
I think that’s important today.
Also, I just want to cry seeing all the kindness and support for the victims and people involved or affected by the attack. I love you all.
If you know Swedish this article is amazing;