At the end of 2019, I became a number, Case Number XX, a survivor of a violent crime.
I share the experience with many others who were told, “if you are not hurt it’s okay, things are only things.”
And daily we read in the press of others who have had the same or similar experiences.
While we are all extremely grateful, thankful to have escaped physically unharmed, and we are okay, it is not okay.
I wonder what has happened to us to make it okay for our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, husbands, wives, friends, bosses and employees to have watches, no matter what value, ripped off wrists, earrings ripped out of ears while walking in the streets and cell phones demanded by people with guns.
Since when is it okay for our phones to be demanded under threat of death, no matter where we are, no matter what value, no matter how cheaply or expensively our phones are made to look pretty or cool.
Our phones. These are the tools we use as a support line for younger or older people, our employees, our bosses, our people, our friends, children and animals when they are in trouble and need our help.
Since when is it okay to be stalked, followed, tied up and held up at gunpoint.
It is not okay to have our tools for our livelihoods and those of others in our employ taken by force.
It is not okay to have our schools robbed of learning materials we use to empower children so they can dream big dreams which tomorrow will become the Apples, Googles, Microsofts, Buffets and Bransons of the world employing thousands of people.
Should we not be protecting learning places with all the security know-how so our children are allowed to grow up and to be part of a crowd?
Or to stand out in the crowd no matter what their circumstances?
And since when is it okay for our workplaces, the happy place for many of our people, to be stripped bare?
These are the places where our employees come to earn a living for their families, are motivated, achieve, get promoted, support people, build things, keep our economy going, innovate and clear a path for others to follow.
On the day of my case my happy places filled with people who, on hearing what had happened to me, had flashbacks of their own.
Like it happened to them on the same day.
They re-lived their stories with the same sensory detail they had experienced a few months ago or many, many years back.
On the day we became each other’s counsellors.
Sharing experiences was a good thing.