What Can The Manchester Attack Teach Us About Purpose?

Image from bbc.co.uk

Although it may say Associate Director Business Intelligence on his card, my husband’s real job/vocation/raison d’etre is being a counter terrorism expert. Always has been since we worked for UK Intelligence.

Which always makes for a strange mood when a terrorist attack happens. There’s a strange sense of busyness and urgency, media calling for interviews, articles to be written, the twittersphere expecting content.

It feels sad but important work — and as his dutiful editor/sounding board/don’t say anything that breaks the official secrets act sanity check, I feel I play my part.

On the programme, we talk a lot about purpose, (the word is even in our name!), and when things like this happen, it really galvanises for me what that word can mean to some people.

I’m not talking about the terrorist. I’m talking about the army of people who respond when attacks happen.

The police, the paramedics, the nurses, the soldiers, the civil servants and my friends who will have been working through the night and will continue to do so to do everything they can to protect you, us.

These people have the highest sense of purpose. Not accolades, not money, in the case of my friends not even personal recognition but simple public service.

It seems like an obvious point, but I think most of us forget most of the time that there’s a whole group of people who have dedicated their lives to making ours better, safer, longer.

I know many of our cohort are currently thinking a lot about their own purpose and what next after the programme. And I guess the Manchester attack reminded me that there are a lot of people already out there with a very noble purpose. And we’re part of it.

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