“Hope is important, because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
~~ Thich Nhat Hanh
As I have stated numerous times here in this blog and other places, I don’t watch the news. It is 99.5% horror and murder and shock and fear and more. I don’t need it. Not at all.
“But don’t you need to know what’s going on in the world?” I hear over and over?
Some stuff. Because I know that I will hear about anything big. I know the news and AOL news feed and Facebook will be flooded with it. And sure enough, that is what has happened.
I heard a whisper about it last night and waved my hands in front of me and told the lady I didn’t want to hear about it. She hangs onto each new disaster with mounting fascination.
But this morning, yes, I awoke to find nearly every single Facebook post about what happened in Paris yesterday. And I didn’t know what. But with this much noise, I knew I should probably find out (although I had already been hit by a inner piece of information that I will share in a moment).
So it seems that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), claims responsibility for a deadly attack on Paris. It was a coordinated assault that has killed at least 127 people some 87 young people at a rock concert and forty more five other attacks including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the Stade de France national stadium. It was “the worst such attack in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, in which 191 died.” President Francois Hollande has stated that this amounts to an act of war against France. “Faced with war, the country must take appropriate action.”
Today’s post was supposed to be about the price of gasoline. But I don’t think I can ignore what has happened. How can I? I don’t think I can find a Facebook post that is about anything else.
So how do I, optimist that I am, find a Silver Lining?
Well, I don’t. There is no Silver Lining.
What happened was a hateful and hate-filled atrocity. It is terrible. It is more than terrible. It is horrific. How can this have happened. And why is there a group of human beings that are so corrupted by hatred, that they could commit this heinous crimes against humanity…and feel justified in doing what they did?
I can’t answer that either.
But this is what I can say….
ISIS did just what they wanted to do. The terrorist group succeeded.
They spread terror.
I was assaulted by the posts on Facebook early this morning!
The tons of anti-refugee/Muslim sentiment….
Hatred of President Obama.
People saying that there wouldn’t have been as many deaths if France had strickter gun laws (as if that would have hindered ISIS even one iota).
Countless people asking “what is to come?”
Post after post after post of people saying they don’t feel safe anymore.
Endless comments about what a sad day it is.
Over and over statements like, “This is what the world is coming to!” and “What are we going to do?” and “I am rocked with grief!” and more more more….
Lots of it.
Lots of “The world is so f*cked up!! OMG!!”
And OMGosh the people to are looking at the pictures! What is it? Why look? Why?
The world isn’t f*cked up.
Some of it may be.
But I am going to look with different eyes. I will not live in fear!
Because I am also seeing countless Facebook portrait pictures superimposed with the French flag—incredible support and unity.
The world is responding in solidarity with Frace.
I am seeing writers and authors standing up to the haters. I am seeing people reminding us that Muslim refugees aren’t out to bomb us or steal our jobs, but are fleeing the very people that attacked Paris. I am seeing people crying out that we can’t hate back.
I love what a Facebook friend of mine, Joe Mannetti, said: “Whenever you attack, you simply remind us you are out there. You allow us to re-group with our allies and become more united in order to oppose you. You make us stronger. You do not defeat us.”
The wonderful author Heidi Cullinan said, “We will not drink your poison. We will not let your hate harden our hearts. We will not let your cruelty and your heartlessness turn us against each other.”
I saw a picture that said, “Where is the glory in murdering innocent civilians who cannot defend themselves? There is none. It is sheer cowardice.”
I am seeing people remind us that there was a similar tragedy in Beirut that is being ignored.
After 9/11, Osama bin Laden discovered he had made a hell of a big mistake. He thought by attacking the World Trade Center he would crush our spirit.
Instead the opposite happened. I was stunned and amazed and my heart swelled as I saw that it brought humanity together. Right wing and left, religious and atheist, conservative and liberals, young and old. The world was galvanized!
ISIS is going to see that they made a mistake. A big one.
There is going to be a stronger US-France alliance.
The world stands together today.
I ask this. Grieve. Weep. But as Heidi Cullinan went on to say, “…we will live again, and love all the harder, until you lay down your sword or your hatred is lost in the blanket of liberty, equality, and fraternity.”
Live! Love more! Support liberty and equality! Become the change you want to see in the world. Do not live in fear. Do not let this convince you that the world is going to hell. Know that war is dying. It doesn’t work anymore. And more and more we has human beings are learning this and taking a stand, saying we won’t take your hatred any longer.
Do not return hatred with hatred.
Martin Luther King said, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Please, let us remember that. And stand together. And love.
PS: Am I the only one who really dislikes the fact that this terrorist group calls itself ISIS? Isis was the Egyptian goddess worshipped (and still is) as the ideal mother and mate and the patron of magic and nature, the Queen of Heaven, friend of slaves, the downtrodden. Couldn’t they have picked a different name?
Today I will hold high the goddess’s meaning and not a group of hate-filled terrorists.
photograph by schnuffel from morgueFile
photoshopping by Noah Willoughby