Monday, November 16, 2015

Paris and Beirut and All of Us

Certainly some people are determined to cause a lot of harm.  It is clearly their intention to make people feel that things that we wish to do are unsafe.  I saw a number of comparisons to September 11th, but really, in many ways this reminded me of the MD snipers. Certainly it took a longer period of time for them to be stopped, but they were targeting places people shopped, places people went to get gas, places people went to school.  In other words they were going after things you often need to do.  And yes, people needed to live and work in the Trade Center, and the Pentagon, and whatever other building they had been hoping to hit.  But we go to cafes, to concerts, to sports games to relax and unwind.  People working to make those places unsafe hits particularly hard.  And yes, the folks who have mentioned that Beirut, Ankara, and large parts of Egypt and Syria have been dealing with this on a larger scale are entirely correct. 
But Mr. Roger's Look for the helpers advice remains true. Taxi drivers in Paris offered free rides home. Hashtags opened up offering people places to seek shelter in Paris, or find a place to stay if they were stuck in the US or Canada unable to fly home as a result of the borders being shut. People shared lovely images of Paris. And this wonderful bookstore, with their wall quote about strangers, offered themselves up as a refuge during the attacks as well, reaffirming my belief that bookstores are where you find some of the best people.
So, I will try to remember that for every person who thought blowing themselves and others up was a message, there were so many more, who reached out to others, who sang songs as they evacuated the stadium, who looked for ways to help.