We all know what happened recently in Paris. Every time I hear an update on the hour, I feel my thoughts shatter and my world stops spinning. As Americans, we know what is to be a target of terrorism.
I was five years old when the Twin Towers collapsed, and my mom explained to me what happened and I had a day off school. I don’t know if I can actually remember that day, or if it’s a memory made up from being told about it. If you ask anyone else, they can tell you where they were when the news hit their ears, but I know I was too young to understand.
My dad went on a business trip to Washington, DC, the winter after it happened. He took us, his family, with him so that we could see the capital and visit monuments and museums. I don’t remember a lot from that trip, but I do remember yellow caution tapes everywhere. So much was closed off.
Because of attacks, security has been upped as well standards because we feel that we need the protection. We are more united as a country, but we are dictated by fear.
Over the years, there’s been 9-11, the bombing at the Boston Marathon, and sporadic attacks on Israel and other countries. And now, all at once, situations occurring in the great Paris, Lebanon, and Bagdad.
And now, it’s not just a nation in fear but a world. I don’t know that the world has ever not been in fear, but now is when we can relate to each other. We can thank Paris for when she was here for the US during 9-11 and we can return the favor by being there for them on 11-13. Like the French showed America in our time of need, “Today, we are all American,” America returned to them with, “Today, we are all French.” Which is beautiful.
I looked at Facebook today and I could have cried because of the amount of people who filtered their profile picture to match the French flag just so show support to France. On the other hand, I also saw a lot of rants about how everyone was supporting France and not every other nation on the globe with a disaster that day. While the French flag was the only option presented to show support for, how beautiful would it be if we had a filter of the globe? I reminder that we are all part of the same world and that boarders between people and culture are only set in our heads.
I love seeing #prayforParis and #Parisisaboutlife, even though there is some controversy about the French accepting “religious” support. If praying to a God is how a people can show their support, I’d accept it. I accept it as a Christian, but even as a person of a different or without religion, I think I would be touched by seeing how much others cared.
When I was younger, I wouldn’t have cared so much. I was cold and heartless. I felt absolutely nothing when I was told that there was a shooting at the high school of my home town. Nothing. I realize now, that I shut off emotion, because I didn’t want feel for other people. If I did, what would I have been able to do about it?
I don’t know what changed. But when I heard of Paris, and then everything else that night, I was outraged and sad.
I dared to care this time. Though I didn’t know it, I’ve been caring a lot for people lately. I know that it’s the new person I’ve fought to become in college, and I really like this trait of caring for people. I may not be able to do a lot where I am, but if a chance to help arises, I’m ready to take it.
That being said, we are all under the same fear of something we cannot control. So let that unite us and help us become nations without boarders, so that we all may have a sense of hope. We may be different races, religions, and cultures, but we’re all one people fighting to survive in the same messed up world.
I dare you to let yourself care, too.
Col. 3:12, 14-15
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,… And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”