To Paris, With Love
On Friday, at approximately 10pm local, Paris experienced a flurry of terrorist attacks. As of right now, over 120 people are dead. Hundreds more are injured. France is reeling as its citizens seek to find answers. People are scared. The level of fear they are experiencing is on par with that experienced by Americans in the attacks of September 11th.
I had the chance to visit the south of France this past summer. Our ship dropped anchor just outside of Cannes where we tendered in and caught a bus to Nice. The countryside was beautiful. The people kind. The food, delicious. Perhaps not as good as my Italian-preferring palate would like, but excellent nonetheless. It hurts my heart to know that the people with whom I came in contact are now mourning.
Peace for Paris pic.twitter.com/ryf6XB2d80
— jean jullien (@jean_jullien) November 13, 2015
But what about the Muslims….
What about them? Sure, INDIVIDUALS who claim to practice Islamic traditions are responsible for the attacks. Sure ISIS, a radical Islamic group, is claiming a relationship to the horrific events. That said, I am sick of the Islamophobia that exists within our world.
Indivdual actions on the part of a few do not make the entire religion bad.
There are plenty within my social circle who are members of that faith and they are good, kindhearted people. Sure, some of the rules/commandments/guidelines they observe might be peculiar. In case you Christians have forgotten, the Mosaic law, contained in our books of scripture, was pretty peculiar too. Christianity, Judaism and Islam each share so many gospel truths. Why can’t we use those as common ground to develop understanding?
I would argue that those who are so quick to judge an entire religious population are no better than those responsible for the attacks in Paris yesterday afternoon. The same extremist attitudes drive the hatred of both sides. It must stop. There has been a call to #PrayForParis within the last 36 hours. I say we #PrayForTheWorld. Each day we progress further and further down a path that we cannot sustain.
Let Us All Unite
There’s a video that comes to mind that I wish to share. Created by producer/musician Melodysheep, we revisit Charlie Chaplin’s infamous “Let us all unite” speech, this time set to music. I think it echos perfectly what we must do. “More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness.” Those words, spoken so many years ago, ring true today.
Friends, let us all unite! Not in the cause of war, but in the search for peace. Instead of worrying about Starbucks not including a Christmas tree on their cup, we should seek to lift the downtrodden. Instead of bickering and fawning over celebrities, we should serve others who may be less fortunate. A small act of kindness can change the world. More now than ever we need to stand together as humans in support of each other and in defense against those who would harm the ideals of freedom, peace and justice.
We cannot erase the events of the last few days, but we can combat those evils with love. If we fail to do so, there will be no world left to wander. We’ll constantly live in fear, never setting foot outside our own cities. The world is a marvelous place, full of beauty and wonder. Let’s help keep it that way so others can have their own experience.