Human nature and today's events in Rye
As has come to be the norm of the past few weekends since starting Daily Orders, I attend markets on Saturday morning to sell my weekly planning boards. Today however, was quite different. Happily sitting there watching the calmness of the bay from the Rye Foreshore, the word quickly spread that there was a siege in a cafe just 500m down the road.
I received a call to check if I was ok (thanks, Mum :) ) but I thought it so very interesting to hear the reaction of the passers by. So many comments; 'oh it's a domestic situation', 'definitely 2 people inside' etc etc. In this day and age of social media too, the word spread like wildfire. Speculation left, right and centre about what it could be, when it happened, which store it was in etc etc. The thing that amazed me the most sadly, was not that it was occurring, but how quickly people commented upon such a horrible, potentially horrific event like it was a television show. The disappointment of fellow market stall holders that 'this bloody siege has made the market dead today', rather than concern for those at risk.
I'm not sure what I expected to be different, but it was also interesting to note as I drove home, that the police had cordoned off a block surrounding the scene, but immediately adjacent the scene were people enjoying their morning coffee/breakfast. Is that an Australian thing to do, or is that something that would happen elsewhere in the world? Is it our casual nature, our 'she'll be right' attitude that tells us it will be ok, to sit just a couple of hundred metres away from a known gunman? I must say, the first thing I thought of when I heard the news was my escape plan, not whether I was having a latte or a cappuccino; sometimes training is a good thing. Coupled with that though was the absolute trust and confidence I have in the Victorian Police to perform their duties, and to keep the community safe. I therefore carried on with the market.
Thankfully the siege ended peacefully as reported by Channel 9 and other news outlets, but for me it was an interesting observation of human nature. The way people reacted (including me) and carried on as though it was just another lovely sunny day on the Peninsula, whilst just a few hundred metres away, two women were at real risk of losing their lives. Would packing up the market stall or not going out for breakfast changed the situation? No, it wouldn't, but maybe it is a sad sign of how nonchalant we have become as a society to incidents such as these. If this is the norm, I'd like to change the norm we have, please.
For the ladies involved, I hope that you get the support that you will no doubt need over the coming days, weeks, months and years to process what has happened to you today. For those in the our beautiful country and others, be sure to look out for each other. If you are struggling with what life has thrown at you please seek help. Medical professionals and organisations like Beyond Blue can help in times of need.