10 January 2020

Simple words of support

Dear Mr. Frost,

I just read the article in The Guardian in which you describe how you fought the terrorist. The last few paragraphs instantly prompted me to send you this email: you referred to the absurd loss of life (that of Khan as well as the lives of his victims) and to the depression you are feeling. I wanted to express my support, however futile when coming through a few words in an email, and my admiration at your action but also at your humanity and humility that transpire in that article.

I hope others, beyond just myself, can take inspiration from the reflexes that prompted you – and a few others – to avoid higher loss of life, even at the risk of getting harmed. I hope we can also learn from your humbleness that seems to partly cause the sadness and pain you are experiencing. You did what you could, by all accounts. In a way you remind me of my own grandparents (one is still alive, age 96) who were among the very few who fought the Nazis during WWII, not as soldiers, but as Résistants, when they were just 18 years old.

If rejoicing at the inspiration you are giving me and others could seem far-fetched to you today, please try to keep your head up high. I don't know if you have ever heard of the white bear problem: it may prove very difficult to suppress some memories and thoughts. The best we can do is sometimes to try and confine them in a small part of our mind; they will always remain there, we cannot completely ignore them. But we can fill up the rest of our minds with more joyful things, for instance with making others happy, or continuing to serve others as you seem to be doing anyway with your current employment. Yes of course I speak from experience, however less dramatic that experience is than what you went through; and no I don't pretend to know it all – but I simply wanted to share a few words of support to a fellow human being.

Thank you and wishing you all the best,


PS. Mr. Frost responded almost instantly and with very kind words, adding: “That’s the thing, everyone seems to think it takes grand gestures to do good, it really doesn’t. It’s the accumulation of small acts of kindness that makes the difference.”