There has been a remarkable outpouring of grief, sadness and condolences at the site of the Anglican church in Edmonton where a body of a toddler, Anthony Joseph Raine was found recently.
His father and his father’s girlfriend have been charged in his death. At places all over the world when tragedies happen, similar responses have occurred involving flowers, cards, photographs and sometimes toys. This is what human beings often spontaneously do even if the victims of tragedies are unknown.
There is an affinity felt towards the victim or victims, a recognition that the loss, no matter who it is or where it has taken place, is a painful event especially in tragic circumstances. This recognition momentarily or sometimes longer impacts our customary routines.
We think beyond our personal circumstances. This is what human identity and community to me seems to be about, something beyond politics, nationality or ethnicity.
Even bringing up these latter issues under these circumstances seems repugnant, distasteful and insensitive. To know that this sense of connection is deeply and emotionally present in us is to recognize there is more or us than the identities imposed on us by others and that our humanity is a both treasure and a blessing.