Thursday, November 19, 2015

On Friday's events

Again I sit to write a post in which the first thing I have to do is apologize to my little, neglected blog for keeping away for so long. I don’t really have a readership (apart from my husband and my father—thanks guys!) and sometimes it’s hard motivation to sit and write my thoughts when I have no idea if anyone is reading them or why they are doing so. Apart from that, just the act of sitting and writing does not come as naturally to me as I thought it would which perhaps proves that my teenage dreams of becoming a writer were pretty ridiculous and idealistic--but then what teenage dreams aren’t?

The events in Paris however, have forced me to return to the blank page and say something. Since the attacks last Friday, I’ve been glued to my television and online news sources trying to learn the latest information in a strange and probably obsessive way in order to try to turn my thoughts in a productive direction.  At the same time, whenever I’ve ventured elsewhere on the internet this week, I’ve been disappointed in the American blogs I read for not even mentioning the events, instead preferring to concentrate on Thanksgiving recipes, fall fashion, and other frivolous things. While I totally understand that many prefer not to dwell on current events because they find them depressing, frustrating, or disillusioning, it somehow feels so wrong to me not to acknowledge major tragedies like these. The silence seems so much louder than a quick acknowledgement would be. 

When I learned of the attacks, I was actually on the point of heading to bed (I know, I’m a geezer who tucks in at ten).  I ended up not sleeping at all that night not only because my eyes were glued to my phone watching the latest developments unfold but also because I had a sick toddler in bed with me with an ear infection. My sweet little boy was tossing and turning and crying and tugging at his ear in pain. And as I held him pressed to my chest, soothing his hair and trying to whisper comforting things in his non-infected ear, I was overcome with sadness to think of how many people were not warm and snuggled next to their loved ones that night. My heart breaks for the people of Paris who are mourning the loss of their family members, neighbors and perhaps their way of life.

I am so sad to learn that after the attacks, there have been so many statements of fear mongering, vilification, mistrust and hate from people in the media, politicians and acquaintances on social media. Perhaps these feelings are a natural outgrowth to a tragedy like this. It’s instinctual, perhaps even visceral to respond in such a closed way. But I think we can only counter the hateful actions of these terrorists by showing a unified, loving, and humane response to all, no matter where they hail from.  It is tremendously generous to include the people of Paris in your prayers tonight. But spare a thought as well for all of the other innocents all over the world who are facing terror, tyranny, famine, isolation and desperation. And be kind to your fellow humans today at the very least. At the very most, endeavor to be loving.

(Photo: The New Yorker

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