Monday November 16th 2015
I Stand With Paris, I Stand With Humanity
With the atrocious attack on humanity that occurred this past Friday in Paris, things have changed for us (specifically here in Europe and the US). We face a new reality as many of us now leave our homes with the thought that, very soon, someone may gravely assault us because we do not share their beliefs.
I learned about the heinous attacks from my husband who called me from his office to see if I was aware of what had happened. I was working on a project at the time and quickly turned on the news and saw the horrifying images of the wounded victims and the even more harrowing pictures of lifeless bodies placed on sidewalks and covered in white sheets. My spirit immediately sank, and I remained where I was and watched the television screen in disbelief. After a while, some of the same feelings that I experienced during 9/11 washed over me – the strongest being an immense anger with regard to the vicious assault of innocent people LIVING life, doing what they are meant to do in that given moment. In the case of 9/11, the victims were going to work in the pursuit of professional dreams and to support themselves and their families, and in Paris this past Friday, the victims were enjoying a concert, indulging in a meal and spending quality time with family and friends. They knew nothing of the war that was proclaimed against them, could not prepare themselves, could not defend themselves from the random nature of the brutal act committed against them. And as I sat on my sofa, I began to think that it could have easily been me, or my son who would be going to visit a museum with his grandmother and younger cousins the next day. My heart then skipped a beat, fear gripped my soul, and I was overwhelmed by terror.
But slowly I started to think about how being on this earth is a unique blessing. Loving, caring, smiling, running, dancing, breathing in the crisp Autumn air, these are all sweet blessings that amount to our liberties. To have these gifts ripped away by individuals to whom we have not raised our fists, who we don’t judge or who we don’t tell how to live their lives is unacceptable.
Let us not permit terror to interfere with our freedom to walk around, love and enjoy the beautiful life that we’ve been given. Let us be brave and optimistic in the face of darkness.
Our hearts are with the 129 people killed and the 352 wounded in this awful massacre. We pray for them, for their families, their communities and the world at large.