How many of us trundle around our own neighbourhood streets without barely so much a passing thought for our safety? Yet how paranoid are we when travelling into busy spots which could potentially pose as a juicy terrorist target? These were the thoughts that raced through my head only minutes after I heard the news about the recent Hampton stabbings – that four woman had been stabbed in unprovoked attack by a man in a Sainsbury’s car park down the road from where I lived in Hampton, in the leafy suburbs of West London. Just before, children had been making their way to the school nearby, mums busily going about the school run oblivious to the danger that was to rein havoc only moments later.
Quite easily, this could have been me – or anyone else who had only moments before been minding their own business in our neighbourhood – knifed by this man.
I had become so preoccupied with fears of what could happen every time I travelled into London, startlingly aware of our vulnerability which is out of our hands almost every single time I left the safe little pocket of our family. I had become allergic to the mere thought of flying on an aeroplane again.
But yet, just down the road – four women in their 50s, 60s and 70s, had gone from everyday life – to life threatening, within a blink of an eyelid. Perspective doesn’t even begin to cover it.
We are so caught up in our hamster wheel lives that rarely do we give a thought to how easily that could change with being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, yet never was that sentiment so overwhelming at that very point in time.
And now for some interesting stats:
The chances of dying in a terrorist attack = 9, 300,000/1
The chances of dying in an airplane crash = 11,000,000/1
The chances of being killed in a road accident = 8,000/1
The chances of being murdered (perhaps by a knife-wielding random!) = 1,000/1
The recent incident against the backdrop of these statistics certainly puts things in perspective.
Never more have I thought that you only get one shot at this life, and the time for living is now – not when the kids have flown the nest. And that really, we should stop stressing about those things which in the grand scheme of things, are highly unlikely.
Have you experienced any major incidents in your area which have caused you to re-evaluate how you think? Do share in a little comment below….