One week has passed and I still can’t think about the Paris terror attack without having to fight back tears. It’s been one week since 129 innocent people were heartlessly killed in the Paris attack and I still don’t know how to process it. One week since I messaged friends from Paris to see if they, their family, and their friends were all ok. One week ago I was crying as I waited for their responses, hoping for the words “yes, we’re ok”.
And today, one week later, I still cry for those who couldn’t give that answer.
I am lucky. My friends in Paris are lucky.
Those 129 people were not. And neither are their families. I can’t even write this without tears, without my heart breaking for them.
It hurts. It hurts all over and all I want to do is to take all of those who are hurting and hold them. To let them know that someone else cares. I can’t take away anyone’s pain, but oh, how I want to.
I want to take away the pain from all those who are suffering around the world. I want to ease the hurt that we as people are feeling all over, to ease the pain from those who suffered in the Paris terror attack, Beirut, Kenya and dozens of other places all around the world. It’s not just Paris that’s hurting right now, we can find the hurt and the suffering anywhere in the world right now.
But we’ve also seen the good in the world as news of these attacks spread. People in Paris opened their doors to their neighbors and offered shelter to those who couldn’t make it home. Others closer to the center of this tragedy carried the injured to safety. In Beirut, one father tackled a suicide bomber and saved dozens of lives.
I wish there were something I could do that would stop this violence right now.
I think there are many who feel the same way. There was an outpouring of support for France following the Paris terror attack last Friday. Yes, most of it came in the form of posts on Facebook and Twitter or photos on Instagram. I myself posted an image on Instagram in support. It was the only thing I could do at the time.
My heart was breaking last night as I followed the updates of the terrible attack as it occurred. I wept tears as I heard of all the lives being lost and more fall today seeing the aftermath. I personally know a few people who love in Paris and I'm happy to say they are safe. Not everyone is though. So many have been killed, but so many more have opened their doors to their fellow brothers and sisters, taking them in, offering refuge. That's who we are as people. We help. We love. We pray. And today I #prayforparis because #parisjetaime.
No, I didn’t post about Beirut on Facebook just a day earlier, nor did I post anything about the 147 innocent people killed in Kenya back in April, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care. I do care. I care that people are dying every day. Why are we trying to decide who’s tragedy is worse? Why must we try to one up each other on social media, asking why Facebook isn’t offering a Lebanese filter for our profile photos?
Your tragedy is my tragedy too.
One innocent life lost, no matter where in the world, is a loss for all of us. And they are all equally heartbreaking, even if I don’t have a social media post for it.
I cry for Paris because it hit me hard. When the news broke, my thoughts immediately went to those who I personally know in the city. Perhaps it was this personal connection that made it hit me harder than other events around the world. The truth is, I don’t know why the Paris terror attacks made me feel as strongly as they did. Sometimes there just aren’t answers.
So I pray. I give my time to those who need it in my local community and I donate to the charities whose work I believe in and support. At the end of the day, I may not have the answer to world peace, but we can all start somewhere and make a difference, no matter how small. If you’re hurting too and you wish there were something you could do to make the world a better place please remember that you can make a difference.
Donate your time and money. Write letters to your government demanding change. Offer help to the innocent. And above all, be kind to others because peace starts with a smile.