Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Few Words

First of all, for those of you from home who are worried about me, there's no reason to be worried about me right now. I am no where near Paris, and everything has been as calm as can be expected here.

Originally, this week I had planned to write about the trip that I took with my sister during Christmas break. We had a wonderful two weeks together traveling to different cities around Europe, and we had an experience that we will never forget.

Now, though, in light of the recent events in Paris it seems like the wrong time to talk about that.

On Wednesday in Paris, two men killed 12 people at the magazine Charlie Hebdo. Because I'd rather not repeat all the details here, you can read an update from the BBC of what is known so far.

People in France are both shocked and saddened.

Yesterday, all of my teachers had to speak to the children about what had happened. Before the children left for lunch, they had a moment of silence for those who were killed.

It was an odd experience to be with 10-year olds whose country has just been attacked by terrorists.

Because I remember being about that age and finding out about the same thing. 

People are saying a lot of different things about the attack. There are so many issues all in this one event. Issues about freedom of speech, the press, religion, immigration, and identity. Too many for me to talk about or give my opinion on. Especially since I can't pretend to completely understand it all.

What most worries me about this attack is the possibility that the men who killed the workers at Charlie Hebdo might win. 

It's entirely too easy to respond to violence with violence and to hate with hate. We see it every single day, and unfortunately, some days we're the ones doing it.

But hatred only leaves everyone worse off than before.

My condolences go out to the families of the victims, to those who are now afraid that they will become targets of violence, and to all of France which now has to recover from this tragedy.

All of them could use your prayers right now.

My hope is that love and understanding will triumph over hatred and violence and that the result of this event will be that France heals in time.