“For if we breed more hate and anger in retaliation it will only grow stronger and play right into the hands of those who want to bring humanity down.”
I have been debating whether to write a post about this for the last two days and have decided that it is too important an issue to skim past. In the wake to the Parisian attacks, claiming 129 lives and admitting 415 to hospital where 35 lie in intensive care, the world has taken to social media to share their support.
The global scale of solidarity for the victims and their loved ones is truly moving and an essential part of healing and moving forward. However, these events have not occurred in isolation. ISIS, the group claiming responsibility for the attack has launched many others across the world in recent months. The majority of which occurred in the Middle East and led to the deaths of hundreds of Arabs and Muslims. But no hashtag campaign emerged from the deadly bombing of a mosque in Yemen in March. Nobody changed their profile picture to the Lebanese flag after the bombing in Beirut on Thursday.
Does this reflect accurately our level of human compassion? Why does the media show more coverage of attacks occurring in Europe or America? Is it due to the rarity of them? The less established media outlets in the Middle East and Africa?
While the Paris attack is a poignant reminder of how lucky we are to live in a society where attacks of this scale are so rare that we seem to forget, in the midst of our gratitude, how commonplace they are for many countries across the globe. So, therefore, is this not reason to show even more compassion and even more solidarity with countries who are forced to deal with the horrors of ISIS on a day-to-day basis?
This is a time therefore, to stand together with the French, the Syrian, the Muslim, the Christian and everyone else on the planet. We can only be a strong, united force if we stand together through practising love and exercising compassion. For if we breed more hate and anger in retaliation it will only grow stronger and play right into the hands of those who want to bring humanity down.
World leaders have shared their thoughts and Barack Obama’s in particular stuck with me as he referred to the event of Friday night as an“attack on all of humanity”.
Whilst I agree strongly with his statement I feel that there will be two main outcomes of what he said. Either people will be up in arms, ready to attack and fight back or they will join together and stand more united than ever against violence and hatred. The first of these two mindsets has been further fuelled on by the preposterous speech made by Donald Trump in which he states the following: “You can say what you want, but if they had guns — if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry — it would have been a much, much different situation,” Trump said to cheers during a political rally at an arena in southeast Texas on Saturday afternoon. “I hear it all the time, you know. You look at certain cities that have the highest violence, the highest problem with guns and shootings and killings — Chicago is an example, toughest gun laws in the United States, nothing but problems. So our country better get smart because we’re not smart right now.”
A world where people agree that ‘being smart’ is carrying weapons that were designed with the sole intention to kill is not a smart world at all. Hatred will and can only ever fuel more hatred.
Mahatma Ghandi once said that “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
If you need some inspiration in this time of sadness check out these videos about love and compassion: