To be honest, I don’t care much about terrorist attacks, because they have nothing to do with me. They’re so far away, and chances are I won’t be attacked in my lifetime, so why should I care? I’m a classic slacktivist – I’ll change my profile picture, I’ll put out a couple of statuses, I’ll share a video or two – but I won’t be anything more than a “keyboard warrior”.
Yes, I am a heartless bastard, a robot with no emotions, a right asshole. Call me what you will, because it’s true.
But this video tugged at my heartstrings.
It doesn't matter where the attacks happen or who plans them; senseless violence is the same everywhere. We all bleed the same red, we all cry with the same fear, we all mourn with the same tears; when Paris, Lebanon, Syria are hit, we all are hit.
You know what, kid? Your dad’s right: there are bad guys everywhere. You won’t grow up in a world that’s peaceful, because there will always be groups of people with visions of how they want the world to be that don’t match up. They will do what they can to make their dreams – or delusions – a reality, and they will do it by any means necessary. You won’t have any promises that this will never happen to you or to your loved ones. Somewhere in the back of your head, there will always be that little voice that tells you to be careful of people who are different from you, to be distrustful of the world, because you could be next.
But you know what you do have? You have a loving father. You have people who will stand by your side, do their best to keep you happy and safe, and tell you that you are the most precious thing in the world. You have a country that will stand together in its heartbreak and mourning, defiant against the destruction wrought against it. You have a world watching on in solidarity, trying its best to become a better place so this doesn’t happen again.
And you have love, love that is stronger than any bullet. They may try to sow seeds of fear and hate in your heart, tear you down so that you become vengeful like them, but you can counter that darkness by remembering what you have and not what you have lost. Be sorrowful, be upset, and mourn those who passed; but do not spit barbed words nor take up arms for their sake, because hate is a self-propagating cycle of fear, prejudice and violence.
Let this be a lesson to the world: flowers and candles may be nothing in the face of the realities of war, but what they represent, love and compassion, guards our hearts. Remember Paris, remember Lebanon, remember Syria; but do not let remembrance turn into revenge.