Pray for Paris…and the World

It has been almost a week since my last post. My daughter has mid-term break, so we took advantage of the time off and travelled south to Florida. I forgot my iPhone back in Toronto and was going to blog about the associated trials and tribulations. But given Friday’s events, it feels ridiculous to talk about something so frivolous.

I was horrified and saddened to learn of the attacks in Paris. I have family and former co-workers in the city and my first thoughts were of their safety. Thankfully, they are all OK. My heart aches for all of the victims who were out enjoying a Friday night and for their loved ones whose lives have been irrevocably altered. The hatred required to perpetrate these kinds of events is incomprehensible to me.

I love Paris. It is one of my favourite cities in the world. I am hoping to travel there with the kids this summer so that they too can experience the magic of this incredible city. It is clear by the outpouring of emotion and sympathy on social media that many others feel similarly about this city and its people.

Without taking away any of the outrage for the horrific attacks in Paris, I was also deeply saddened to learn of other recent incidents that have received far less media coverage:

– attacks at a memorial service and shrine in Baghdad on Friday that killed 26 people and wounded dozens of others; ISIS has claimed responsibility
– bombings in Beirut on Thursday in which 43 people were killed and another 239 were wounded; also at the hands of ISIS.
– the Russian passenger jet that broke apart over Egypt on October 31st killing all 224 people aboard; there is growing confidence that a terrorist bomb is to blame.

And the list goes on and on… For a complete list of terrorist incidents in 2015, check out this link:,_2015.

We don’t hear nearly enough about many of these events. Why is that? Paris is a beloved city, familiar to many. But is that all that is at play here? Simple familiarity? Or is it a question of west vs. east, white vs. brown, us vs. them? I really don’t know the answer.

I believe that we are at a tipping point. Terrorist attacks are becoming far too commonplace. And yet I fear that we fail to see that there is more that unites us than divides us in this fight. Our selective grief and outrage will continue to weaken us. I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t mourn for the victims of terrorism in Paris. But, rather, that we must show solidarity and compassion for the victims of terrorism everywhere.

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