I am supposed to finish reading Eight Letters to a Young Writer by Teju Cole this afternoon but I just can’t seem to concentrate on it. I was watching the news 2 days ago and was absolutely heartbroken by what I saw. It has been on my mind constantly and now as I type I feel like I’m about to cry. Just a few weeks ago I was crying watching the news and reading articles about the Syrian refugees just dying from escaping their own country. Being chased out of their homes from fear of death, I felt really sorry for them. I was both sad and angry when I saw the children freezing, starving, walking for miles, dying because of people who claim to do stupid things for a higher purpose. I mean come on, murdering? Higher purpose? Haven’t we learned anything from our past mistakes as humans and believers of varying faiths? Haven’t we killed enough good lives to say we are done? Has history not taught us anything? These kids are forced to grow up and protect themselves beyond their physical and mental capacities. They should be playing, not running for their lives for crying out loud. At that time I thought “Wow, what have we come to?”
Then came the attack on you and for a while I. AM. SPEECHLESS. Just why? WHY? What on earth could they have been thinking? I believe that nothing, NOTHING, gives anybody the right to do such barbaric and senseless act. Nothing, in the same way, can justify what they did to you. I can’t understand. It’s that time for me when I suddenly check my morals and beliefs. Tell me, have I been living and believing in a perfect world? Let’s see, I live in a country miles away from where you are where the people are mostly poor, crime is everywhere, and politics is crap just like the rest of the world. So no, I am not disillusioned by a perfect world. In my line of work I’ve seen births and deaths, both peaceful and traumatic. I’ve seen harsh realities with my eyes open, but I can’t say I am unfazed. But this is just… I could only imagine what the survivors feel, or their families, or the families of the victims. The questions, the anger, the sorrow they feel may just be inconsolable. All for what?
I guess I understand a bit, of how people defend their faith with their lives. But being a person who would rather respect differences than argue, I disagree (with every inch of my being) with what is happening to you and to the rest of the world right now. It’s astounding as to how proud these people are claiming what they have done.
I don’t believe in that one true higher religion. No. I’m sorry if some do and don’t like what they see here. I am as you might know, was raised, and happy to be a member of the Roman Catholic church. It’s not perfect, but I am happy to believe in it. Having said that, I believe that every other belief/religion/faith on this planet believes in equality of every human being, in mutual respect, and upholding the sanctity of human life none of which I have seen in these terror attacks.
It’s a sad reality, that we can do this to our own. It’s a disgusting reality to be honest. BUT, the way people everywhere responded was amazing. I think I’ve said it before, but I believe love is enough to restore everything we hold dear as people. It’s sad that we are the ones who caused them to disappear. I saw how you gave the world a show of strength, and courage, and love, despite these tragic attacks. We said “Pray for Paris” or “Pray for the World” without the stereotype of how or where or who, just pray. See? We can do it right? Ridding ourselves of the stereotype? But do we have to wait for terrifying things like this to happen?
I believe in love and peace and the kindness of human hearts. Just like how countries and their people welcomed the Syrian refugees in their homes, I know we could all hold you and the rest of the world in our hearts and lend you our strengths. Love and Compassion. Yes? After all, we are all neighbors aren’t we?
Despite every bit of terror, I think we must be thankful, for the lives spared and for the love that has overflowed. People will never forget what has happened, and neither should we. But we must be thankful, of our lives, each other, and how we all stand together.
*My prayers (and apparently tears) go out to the people of Paris. Oh Paris, I shall visit you one day and weep for those you lost, and marvel at your beauty and strength.