*We are at War Against Ourselves*
In wake of the Paris terrorist attack, the whole world is finally on the synchronized realization that the whole world is in danger. “Bad things happen everywhere – and this is something that HAPPENED TO US.”
I cannot imagine those who walked on the street in an ordinary day, and in bliss their lives were taken away. And the related ones are left to deal with the traumatic news after hours of desperate and panic searching. And this is in Paris. One of the most developed and cosmopolitan cities fallen into the evil’s hands. “We can all be in danger.” This is what comes to our minds.
What is left for us?
Certainly we are in deep grief. We mourn for the lost lives, for the tragedies, and for the crushed illusion of harmony. We are alarmed by the fact that our common knowledge of “terrorism often happens within the middle east zone or developing countries” is destroyed again. 911 was certainly a wake up call for the Americans 14 years ago, and then as the New Yorkers intended to rebuild the city with protectiveness and mutual care, outside the country were the violent air strikes and gun shots in Iraq on revenge – the terrorists ought to pay.
The rest of the world was never in peace either. Each year different attacks have been conducted in the different places. People got terrified, yet then life went on. People felt they were more prepared for the worse to come. Until this year, the developed world is again shaken with one of the most extensive massacres. After condolence paid, we ask the question – “So what do we do now?”
Seeking revenge? Or cover the past with positivity, and attempt to let things get back to normal? While people are still in process of pulling themselves together, or even still trying to accept the fact of happening, at same time the government and military do not let emotions go to their heads. Stronger defence has been built; investigations are catching up to unfold the plot. Certainly repair needs to be done. Wounds need to be healed.
And yet things are never the same.
I look back to the past, and wonder if our future is going to be repeated in the similar way.
911 has crushed people’s faith of security in the worst way, and after that people recovered with the acts of revenge and forgetting.
“The horrific tragedy, followed by genuine kindness, falling back into normalcy moths later, with scars but tougher as result.”
‘…Bush rose to the occasion and Guiliani held the city together and handled his role very well. And then everything slowly turned weird and then pompous and we had a few wars and the meaning of the event changed dramatically…”
And then there is sight of hope and love.
“the feeling of solidarity and mutual caring that New Yorkers exhibited in the months after 9/11/…The attack made me consciously appreciative of NYC, which I had mostly taken for granted growing up…”
“It also made it easy for us to go through the 2003 blackout with no problem at all…”The lights went out?…This could have been worse”.
The neglected ones
And there are those who have and are still suffering from the same physical and psychological damages. I wonder how they are feeling now knowing others who have been under the similar circumstance and got vigorous global response, yet they themselves have long been left without notice and support.
Now two days have passed, and the unified warm sympathetic reactions to Paris are spilt to mixed views. While some remain sympathetic towards the traumatic experiences, there are more who are opposed to giving care. Some condemned the world’s ignorance to the earlier if not equally but more severe Baghdad and Beirut attacks, in contrast to the marketing tactics the west employs to gain sympathy from the rest of the world towards the more cosmopolitan and advanced city. The President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad blamed France on its wrong acts politically and militarily which led to the tragic fatality at the moment.
It is so easy as we need to accuse, to blame, to be angry – yes we can be compassionate, caring and sympathetic, but we also have to do SOMETHING. And that’s someone needs to pay. Blame arises, and care/concern turns cold. People block their minds from the further take in of the cries and despair. “Why do you deserve my care?”
As much as the ongoing social injustice, the extreme gap of rich/poor, I believe everyone deserves to be supported and cared. Even the more advanced and richer people. Only by doing this then we can connect between the isolated and egocentric souls.
What is our future?
I hope that under adversity, we continue to bring out the best of humanity. We are not just moral and benevolent in the good times. The best lessons in life occur when we are so much challenged and hurt, yet we still believe in the truth of “goodness in life”.
We continuously learn and grow.
It is not how much others suffer and need to be cared for. Or who deserves to be listened to more than the others.
It is about us. Us as human beings who genuinely want to reach out and care and connect, regardless the different circumstances.
From the simple acts of posting #prayforparis, the change of displayed pictures, we actually spend longer time on prayers and sharing.
Then we get more motivated to even learn about the rest of the world under the same situations, and we begin to care.
We are motivated to take action to engage with the unfamiliar populations. We take further steps to actually do something.
Because we believe in the human equal values. All of us deserve to be listened to, be cared, be loved.
Pray for Paris.
Pray for Beirut.
Pray for Baghdad.
Pray for the world.
Care for Paris.
Care for Beirut.
Care for Baghdad.
Care for the world.
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