The events in the early half of the day in Ottawa today, this 22nd day of October, 2014, has left a good many number of people in and out of Ottawa, across the nation and across the globe wondering "How could something like this be happening in Ottawa, Canada?"
Ottawa is known for its quaint, picturesque and calm atmosphere: the capital of the friendly nation of Canada that sparks a smile to people around the world. And yet, this morning's events left Ottawans trapped inside their work offices looking outside their windows at an Ottawa filled with guards, security, police and forces, armed with guns and panic and paranoia. At the very site of our National War Memorial, a soldier's life ended, leaving Ottawans confused, shocked, and putting into question their sense of security and comfort.
It is with good reason that we should be worried and fearful. At a time like this, it may be the number one thing you may want to remember: there is no need to talk anyone out of their fears or concerns. Instead simply listen, validate that this is a hard and tragic event and remind yourself and others that it is in our basic instincts to be nervous when we perceive danger. If we are able to stay close to our fears and acknowledge them, they usually subside. Once we let our acceptance of the recent events sink in, it is also normal to feel sad, confused, in disbelief and decide how you want to deal with the fall out. Everyone has their own way. And this is OK.
Others may need extra support for dealing with the fallout of today's events, seek support from family, friends, colleagues and whoever you feel comfortable to talk to. For those who are living in Ottawa or who have family/friends in Ottawa, know that there is a number you can dial and talk to someone at the Ottawa Distress Centre at: 613-238-3311. We are glad to know that our men and women in uniform are working ever so hard in their trained profession of keeping us safe and secure and have quickly dealt with today's threats without any hesitation and only with fierce bravery and courage. We thank them deeply.
Events like these can bring about a deep reflection free from the noise of everyday life. I believe that it is BECAUSE of the tragedies in our lives that we must gladly welcome the burden of responsibility to find ways and means to stay strong, to believe in life, and to bravely continue to perpetuate love, compassion, kindness and life. What do you think?
- Arash Kameli