As millions mourn the tragedy bestowed upon Paris this past Friday, it has united us in pain and prayer. The News talks about the terror, death, and destruction caused by the shootings and bombings, stirring grief and fear into the air, while social media sites explode with people’s thoughts and sympathies for those affected by these events. All eyes are on the city of light & love. My heart goes out in anguish for all those personally affected by the attacks on Paris. I think we are all affected in some way from this, but those who call Paris home and have loved ones who were injured or killed because of this, I cannot understand what you are going through, I can only imagine.
This isn’t the first time hatred and violence have brought the masses together. When 9/11 occurred, the world cried over the death of thousands. When Micheal Brown was shot and killed by a police officer, we showed our support for the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, and at every school shooting, from Columbine to Virginia Tech, we wept at the lost lives of youth. We expressed great sorrow for these events, and found ourselves angry, retaliating with additional acts of violence, from riots to wars, as France has now declared and followed through with an airstrike on ISIS in Syria, but as the great spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi once said, “an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind”.
Violence upon violence is not the answer to our problems. When we emit those negative energies into the air, we attract nothing but more pain, if not for ourselves, then for those we retaliate on, their families, their friends. We keep this cycle of hatred alive by how we act in accordance. Instead of being fueled by hate and anger, we must bring peace and love, and not just for those grieving. This isn’t a soccer match. There are no sides as to who deserves love. As humans, it is in our primal nature to love and be loved.
I have noticed that we as a society have picked and chosen who “deserves” our prayers and support. When an epidemic of hatred occurs in Western countries, we fall in disbelief and shock as to the how’s and why’s as to that horrific event happening, but when a similar scenario relays in a less affluent country, such as the recent bombing in Lebanon (leaving at least 41 dead) or the militant attack on Garissa University in Kenya (leaving 147 dead-mostly students), we go about our days unaffected by the brutal violence. Every life matters. Just because their culture and lives are different than ours does not mean that their tragedies are less severe that our Westernized ones.
So while everyone prays for Paris, I too will pray, and not only send out love for those in France, but those in Kenya, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and everywhere else suffering the brutality of hatred. I pray for the world. For peace, and instead viewing our differences (based on religion, race, sexual orientation, etc) and finding the hatred because of it, we can accept these differences and also look at our similarities that bring us together as a human species. To love and be loved.