Nick Ahad: Why even in the deepest tragedy love always wins in the end

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On Monday night I sat at my desk with a heavy heart to read the update on the attack carried out by a lone gunman at a gay club in Orlando.

It hurt. The journalist in me wanted to know what happened, my humanity wanted to weep.

With the horrific details still fresh, I turned to the written word and decided to file my column for the Yorkshire Post Culture pages. A form of catharsis.

Three days later I found myself on air at BBC Radio Leeds, reporting that Jo Cox MP, the very best of us, had been killed on our streets.

My column was already in pages of the Yorkshire Post when the news came through. Would the words about a gunman and violent death still be relevant? Would it be somehow inappropriate, given the awful new circumstances?

The words remain true. Jo Cox was simply the best of us and her vibrancy and acts of love will live on. She was a bridge builder. She was someone who lived in love. Even in death, her love lives on and those driven by hate can’t win.

I know they can’t win, for lots of reasons.

The murderer who gunned down 50 innocent people in a gay club in Orlando at the weekend, he can’t win. The maniac would-be president Donald Trump who tried to capitalise on the deaths of the innocents: he can’t win. The murderous swine who opened fire on a group of revellers at a gig at the Bataclan in Paris, they can’t win.

The people who want us to hide in fear and pull up the shutters. The people who would rather peddle hate than teach love. The people who want fear to rule our hearts and to banish peace from our minds: they will always lose.

The wall builders among us are always, every single time, weaker than the bridge builders.

Why can I say this so confidently?

Because love always wins. Because the gunman at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando stood alone, while his innocent victims danced together.

He stands, we dance.

He hates, we love.

He is alone and we stand together.

The haters are few and we are legion, we are multitudinous, we outnumber them by a quantity they can’t even conceive.

But most of all, I know we will win because the destruction they wrought fades with time and the art that we create lives on forever.

The people in the Pulse nightclub were doing something so elemental, so fundamental to us as human beings that it is a distant echo from the time we were living in caves: they were dancing.

They were expressing what it means to be human. Dance is something that appears from deep inside our souls. Unexplainable and beautiful, the urge to dance goes far beyond a communication we can capture in words.

Yes, on the one hand the innocents at Pulse were drinking, revelling, having fun, but they were also dancing and that means they were doing something that connects all of us on a level so primitive it is as shared an experience as breathing.

With every twist of every hip, with every stamp of every foot with every wave of every hand, the people in the Pulse nightclub were creating art. They were expressing our shared humanity.

That’s why the art that we create is more powerful than the guns and bullets they have.

The people at the Bataclan that awful night in November last year were connecting with the primordial, just as the people in the Pulse were.

The Bataclan victims were listening to music, something our ancestors did when they started banging sticks together in the cradle of humanity.

In days as dark as the ones we have all felt in our guts since 50 innocents were slaughtered in a homophobic, cowardly attack by a pathetic loner, it is to art we must turn.

What will survive of us is love, said Larkin.

Yes, love survives, but so does art. It survives with more vivacity, vibrancy, urgency and love than the acts of the loveless few.

We will win for we are many and they are the few and the art we make of our lives will outlive their hate by centuries.

Every time, we win.