Last night I enjoyed a quiet Friday night in. Everyone else was out dancing and drinking and I decided to stay home and chill, relax, have some space. That didn’t happen. Instead I watched Sky News for seven hours straight before eventually falling asleep still watching the same devastating news.
Paris had been attacked. There were numerous locations being attacked. People were dying. People were being held hostage. There were hundreds injured, if not dead.
Every few minutes it felt as if new, worse information was coming through; little mini grenades of fear, panic, anger, sadness…
I felt for the French last night, people everywhere in fact, and REALLY felt for them too. My heart was heavy. With every person I watched being pulled out of a building covered in a gold foil blanket, my eyes started to well up a little more. All of a sudden I was both ashamed and proud to be a human being. Proud of the people who were rallying around to help, proud of the people staying strong in such an awful situation, proud of the emergency services who were there quick as a flash, desperately trying to get the confusing and difficult situation under control.
However, at the same time, I was ashamed to be part of a species who could commit such a torturous act – to kill so many people without a care or a cause. Those attackers didn’t care about the hostages inside that club when they detonated their explosive devices or starting shooting. They didn’t even care about themselves. They blew themselves up! So consumed with hatred poorly veiled as religious beliefs, they would end their own lives for a cause that doesn’t even make sense. How can killing innocent people for no reason be made sense of? How can it ever be justified? How do they justify this kind of behaviour? I tried to do my own research as to what cause insisted that innocent people should die and honestly, I couldn’t make head nor tail of it. It doesn’t make sense. 100+ people dying and many more wounded last night didn’t make sense.
It’s an incredibly scary state of affairs.
It’s scary to think that you could walk out of your house tomorrow, head to a local restaurant for a bite to eat or club for some live music, and be faced with the kind of terror that once upon a time you’d only see in action-packed movies. It’s scary to think that’s the kind of life we live now. Even more so when you consider that this kind of horror story is now coming true on a very regular basis. And then even more so when you take into account that we are now turning on each other.
Flicking through social media sites, I came across one particular comment that simply stated:
“I’m going to unfriend all Muslim people on my Instagram page.”
I couldn’t believe I was reading such a thing. I couldn’t believe someone would say something as ridiculous or as dangerous as that. How can you tar an entire religion of people with the same brush as these thoughtless murderers? How can you say that? How can you even think such a thing? Are you really so close-minded that you think the person who lives next door to you, or that guy you work with, is the same kind of person as the ones who senselessly shot dead or blew up over a hundred people last night? It’s people like you – people with close-minded attitudes, who get more people killed. Muslims and other religions do not deserve to get persecuted because of this crime. They are not to blame. They are not responsible.
But we are ALL responsible for the safety of ourselves and others.
When the horrific videos started to circulate of what was happening in Paris, videos of women hanging from buildings trying not to fall or get shot at, I wanted to look away. Videos showing people dragging bodies out of buildings and down the street. Videos of men and women hobbling down the road, pools of blood all around them. Videos of bodies covered by sheets, injured and wounded covered in gold blankets, terror, horror everywhere. This isn’t the kind of thing that should ever happen in real life. This is the kind of thing that you should only see in movies, so beyond the realms of what normal life should be like or how normal human beings should treat each other. You should NEVER be faced with that kind of reality. NEVER.
One victim described the attacks as being “like the start of world war three” and I’m starting to wonder if that’s actually the case. As much as I agree that we shouldn’t just sit back and let this kind of thing happen, I’m not sure retaliation with these lunatics is the right step forward. I don’t know what the right step forward is and that’s why I’m not in charge of such matters but I do know this – the more we kill, the more they will kill, and the bigger the attacks will get too. They have already shown as much. They hit France once and they’ll do it again, but bigger, bloodier and more brutal than we ever could have imagined.
I wanted to look away from these videos. I wanted to turn the TV over. I didn’t want to be faced with that kinda of brutality but I think it needs to act as a wake-up call. We need to see this stuff. We need to start opening our eyes to what is happening all around us – all over the world. We ALL need to vigilant and keep our eyes out for things that don’t seem quite right.
More than that, we ALL need to be nice and love each other. That person you rudely bumped into and didn’t apologise for may seem like nobody now but they might be the person to help save your life in five minutes time. You never know what is going to happen in life but apparently it’s getting a lot more dangerous and you can bet your last dollar it’ll get worse too.
We need to stand together not blame or persecute. Solidarity is the one thing that will keep us strong against the war of terror. How can we stand side by side when we’re turning on each other?
I’m praying for Paris today but I’m also praying for humanity, love and respect.
I think you should too.