When I woke to more than 200 messages in various group chats on Sunday morning, I knew something wasn’t right.
My best friend has been living in London for almost two years and after the numerous terrorist attacks the city has endured, my first thought was: ‘surely it hasn’t happened again’.
To my surprise, multiple attacks had occurred, resulting in seven people being killed and 48 injured; many of them stabbed, following a terrorist attack at London Bridge and Borough Market.
As Britain endures the aftermath of the third attack in several months, messages of solidarity and compassion have poured in from the international community.
Through all this disaster, it was heart-warming to see complete strangers offering help on a new Facebook feature.
Some offered to volunteer, others offered blood and some even offered spare beds in their homes.
In a few months I’ll pack my bags and travel across the sea to be reunited with my BFF, travelling to parts of the UK and Europe.
Am I afraid for my safety and worried about becoming a victim of a gruesome terror attack? Yes, absolutely.
Whenever there is a new wave of terrorist attacks I brace myself for what’s to come.
Not because I fear for my own life or the ones I love, but because of something far scarier: more distrust and separation in society.
That’s exactly what terrorists want – a divide between countries, ethnicity and religions.
They want society to live in fear, but our fear of terrorism must be kept in proportion.
We simply can’t let the terrorists win; we can’t let them stop us from doing what we want to do and from living our lives to the fullest.
We’ll be nervous. We’ll probably be more cautious than we might otherwise be and we might even think twice.
But let’s not stop living our lives merely because of the horrible events taking place around the world.
We are not naive to the fact that there are threats, and we are not new to the notion that we should always be aware of our surroundings.
But don’t let the terror attack our hearts.
Stay positive. Be brave, be strong and be fearless to live your life. Make love, not war.
- Katrina Vo is a journalist for Fairfax Media’s north-west Sydney publications.