The Toronto Van Tragedy: Embrace the Human Connection Again

The Toronto Sign was dimmed Monday Night after the van attack Image Credit: Global News

By: Laura Steiner

I’ve been struggling all week to understand the tragic attack on Toronto streets Monday.  The events themselves are becoming clear, and all too familiar.  An accused rents a vehicle, posts a cryptic (or not) social media post detailing the agenda.  They then commit the horrific act themselves, that leaves the rest of us numb with shock, and grief.

It’s comprehending the what and how. What happened in the accused’s life to push him to those actions? Was it simply a failure to find somewhere to belong? Was it one bad relationship too many? Did anyone in his life try to reach out to this guy, be his friend? Maybe one friend would have made the difference.

We live in a world now where attacks like becoming too commonplace.  A walk down a busy city street on a sunny day can end in carnage.  How do we live in a world like this? Celebrate the heroes. The accused was arrested without a shot fired after asking the officer to shoot him, making him a hero.  The many stories of bystanders who were warned of the accident by others and able to get out of the way.  Those who saved lives while performing First Aid or CPR.  The EMS who rushed victims to the hospital.  There is a silver lining in this.

Maybe we’re kinder to each other.  Give directions to the person wandering around looking lost.  Smile at people on the subway.  Hold doors for others, or share a table with a stranger at a coffee shop.  Embrace the messiness that is Toronto in all of its multicultural glory.  Ask questions, get to know each other.  Make the human connection again.