Over the weekend I saw most of my friends Facebook profiles turn blue, white and red in support of the people in France. I also saw people slam Facebook for doing this because they have not offered the same support for other countries that have suffered similar atrocities, like Beirut. In truth it’s happening all over the world and it is horrifying.
Still, when it happens so close to home it strikes a chord, those of us in European countries know it could be us next, or our family. It scares us, shocks us and we join together in support and mourning.
Does this really have to drive a divide between East and West though?
For some maybe, after all, those that are instigating the attacks are coming from the East are they not. Even if those carrying out the attacks may be natives to the West, and some are, they are receiving their instructions from elsewhere.
We cannot let this cloud our minds though, there are just as many people, innocent people suffering in the Middle East. That’s why they are running away, coming to us for help. They are being attacked by the same people who are attacking us. They are not opposing us.
Beyond the blame, beyond the cause, we have human beings being slaughtered in many countries on a regular basis and this is wrong.
It’s also driving a wedge between those of us that are not fighting, causing us to oppose each other’s opinions, argue with each other. It’s not just them and us any more.
Why are we allowing this?
The media will always give us more coverage of attacks closer to home. Most of the attacks are carried out far from home and we only get more news coverage when they happen in holiday destinations like Tunisia or Turkey.
We will feel more shock at countries that are attacked that are not in the Middle East because the fighting has been going on so long there we are more accustomed to hearing about it.
I’m not saying that either of these things are right or wrong, but we shouldn’t be arguing with each other about them.
Straight away people were saying close our borders, stop them from coming into our country. Yes, we are scared, but the sad thing is, they are probably already here. That doesn’t mean they are among the Asian family that run your local shop or restaurant though, or even those refugees that have just arrived in camp. It’s easy to think that the terrorists have sneaked in with those. The truth is we can’t tell, we have to put our faith in the experts to find out where they are and weed them out. One of the terrorists in Paris was French, remember that. Again, it’s just something to drive a wedge between us, those of us that should be sticking together, standing together, keeping everything together.
We should know who our enemy is, We should stand together. Don’t let them turn us against each other because we are stronger as one.
We may not be fighting with kalashnikovs or bombs but we should not be attacking each other with words either.
I will show my support to Paris but I will also think of the families lost in Beirut.
Also, this year, France, Libya,Yemen, Tunisia, Afghanistan,Texas, Baghdad, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, Egypt, Turkey and Bangladesh, some of these places have been attacked more than once.
I will continue to teach my children how to accept other people’s views and opinions gracefully even if they don’t totally agree with them. I will teach them right from wrong, and mostly that harming other people is wrong. Will there even be a future for my children with the way the world is turning? If there was a train to a better world then I’d be first in line to buy my family a ticket.