You Have Earned The Right To Live.
The chances of any of us losing our lives in a UK terrorist attack are roughly one-in-2.2 million.
According to science journalist Robin Andrews, you are more likely to bite the dust after a bout of food poisoning, or falling down the stairs. You are significantly more likely- 275 times in fact- to die in a traffic accident than you are at the hands of terrorists.
But statistics aside, sometimes it’s hard shaking the feeling that it could be you. And sure, it happens. Recently it’s felt like a relentless wave of death, our little island weathering four terror attacks in just three months.
Initially, we were sucker-punched. Our mouths tasted like salt as we struggled to digest just how violently things had been turned on their head. These aren’t war zones. These are the places and faces that you recognise, and the moment walking down your local high street becomes an act of bravery is difficult to stomach.
Now, we wait. And when news breaks and time is brought to a standstill, we bow our heads solemnly. The storm after the calm.
That fear has been compounded by a video released recently by the UK government which demonstrates what you should do during a terrorist attack abroad. ‘Run, hide, tell’ aims to ‘minimise the impact of an attack’ if you do end up caught in the crossfire. It makes for uncomfortable viewing.
But even though most of us have vowed to support our football teams, hit the Topshop sales and jet set in search of cheap sangria and balmy summer nights, it might come as a surprise to you that the majority of us are, in fact, continuing to live our lives as we always have, unchanged by what now feels part of the established narrative.
A new study by UK Music has just revealed that more people than ever before are watching live music in the UK.
Last year, there was a respectable 12 per cent increase in the numbers of people sacking off EastEnders to pay £5 for a pint of Heineken and feel that bass in their chest. That’s a whopping 30.9 million people enjoying the shared experience of live music, at both gigs and festivals.
823,000 of the 4 million people that hauled their tents across muddy plains came from foreign lands to take in the best that the UK has to offer.
We don’t need to rehash the details of what happened at the Eagles of Death Metal concert at Paris’s Bataclan theatre on Friday 13th November, 2015.
What we should do is hold up the findings of this study against the backdrop of fear that we have been living with; the ‘what if’ that never feels too far away. What we should do is take comfort from what this means.
You can’t talk about this subject without mentioning the terror attack which took place at Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert on 22 May earlier this year, in which 22 people were killed.
Some might argue that it’s too early to know what the long-term effects of that night will be, but it didn’t stop tickets for the 50,000 capacity Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home to the One Love Manchester tribute concert, selling out in 20 minutes.
The hysteria surrounding Adele tickets and Glastonbury will attest to that.
And it’s not just music that continues to thrive.
Every football fan in the country is rubbing their paws together in anticipation of the season ahead, the nearby pubs licking their lips as they await the pints and peanuts that they will shift.
It’s the best kind of f*ck you. It’s a f*ck you that brings all of us together and leaves a burning sensation in the throats of those seeking to destabilise what we do best: unite in a beery haze as we let our emotions run wild.
Whether that’s front and centre for your favourite band or Boxing Day away, keep doing it, and don’t you dare stop.
You have earned the right to live. You only get one shot.