As President Obama said, Friday’s deadly assaults weren’t just an attack on Paris and the people of France, but “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.” And as barbaric as the attacks were, the values of unity and solidarity began to assert themselves almost immediately.
With the city still in chaos, the hashtag #PorteOuverte (or #OpenDoor) appeared on Twitter from Parisians promising safe haven to any who needed to get off the streets.
There were many other small moments of compassion and cohesion — people fighting back by standing together, choosing connection over isolation — where the people of Paris reminded us that our greatest strength in maintaining a free and open society is to recognize our common humanity.
What have we done to our children?
This is not an US against THEM. We are all ONE RACE. The HUMAN RACE
and as the windshield melts
my tears evaporate
leaving only charcoal to defend
finally i understand
the feelings of the few
ashes and diamonds
foe and friend
we were all equal in the end
I heard from a friend last night.
I got in my car and turned on CNN radio. I realized after a few minutes of driving that my daughter was completely silent in the back seat. She’s never quiet. I asked her if she was listening and she said yes and that she was scared. She is crazy smart and understands more than most seven year olds.
We had to have a talk about what terrorism is. She had a little bit of knowledge because she knows of 9/11 and she’s been to 9/11 memorial. She’s old enough now where these things are scary because she understands them more.
I explained to her there was a time where the airport didn’t look like it does now. There was a time when I went to school when we didn’t have to do “lock down drills” because we were scared of someone coming in that wanted to hurt us. This is the world she lives in now. It makes her scared and I’m scared for her.
It is not too late to change our path. To change the world for our children. We need to focus on the things that make us ONE. To show them the LOVE that exists in the world.
On Saturday morning I wanted to start contacting friends. Friends from my home town, friends from work and friends from countries all over the world. I wanted to contact them just to say ‘hi’. I suppose I was acting emotionally after the Paris attacks (and suicide bombing in Beirut which killed 40) because these horrible events always make me reflect.
Terrorism is not a new invention, but I doubt there’s many people who, after seeing what happened in Paris on the evening of Friday 13 November 2015, didn’t think: ‘Shit, that could have been me.’
It could have been any of my friends. Anyone one who went to a concert or out to a restaurant. You do stuff with your friends. Whether it is out for dinner and drinks or to a game.
Sometimes we’re so busy with other stuff that friendships take a backseat, and that’s fine, but let’s not trick ourselves into thinking that by liking something on Facebook is making an effort to stay in touch with friends.
Friendships so often go stale. People move on, people grow up, have children, get divorced, lose themselves and drift away. But our friendships define us and we should protect them.
If, through some hideously random twist of fate one of my friends or I is injured (or worse) as this bizarre, unpredictable and violent phase of history plays out, then I want to at least know I made the most of things with my mates. I don’t want to be saying: “I should have been a better friend.”
It is NOT a time to focus on our differences but on the thing that unify us. We all want a better life for a children. We all want a peaceful existence. No one wants to see another tragedy, bombing or shooting. Not another social media cause. Not another “our thoughts and prayers are with (Boston, Beirut, Paris, Somalia, Aurora, Sandyhook).
I want my legacy to my children to know that I was a good friend. That I also believed in peace. That I was part of the human race.