No-one with heart can fail to be moved by the Grenfell Tower fire in London. It is hard to imagine the horror of the fire for those caught up in it, and the audio-video recordings by people in the flats is almost too much to bear, particularly since so many of them are missing. They are tragic, possibly last, words.
Already, and understandably, questions about responsibility and blame are being asked, even before the recovery operation has begun. Unconscious mind games have begun as reason seeks to take charge, and emotions of anger mingle with distress before the true facts are known.
The public wants answers, of course, but it is not helpful, perhaps, to encourage speculation of culpability in every quarter possible, even the co-ordination of the victim support effort. People are being accused already, when many of them are doing their best to help in the most challenging of circumstances.
At its best, reason is about fairness and goodness, but when misused, reason is a one-sided judge acting on gossip. Judgment and justice over the Grenfell fire based on impartial evidence will come with the public inquiry: meanwhile, everyone involved with the management and refurbishment of the tower block will be searching their consciences. Some of those targeted for speculation about wrongdoing will be innocent, others will not be, but it would be a pity to make more emotional pain through unsubstantiated conjecture.
It would be wonderful if, in this and all situations, reason could be used responsibly and in balance with heart-felt feelings of empathy and compassion for the survivors of and the departed from the tragedy. The longing of so many people to help in any way possible is truly admirable, and I hope that the outpouring of community love from us all will outlast and overshadow the blaming. The Grenfell Tower fire seems without reason, but it may be, as a result of the failures that caused it, many other lives will be saved and attitudes will change. Justice will prevail – and the justice of karma most of all.
(Image by Natalie_Oxford on Twitter)