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reflections on responses to the paris terror attacks

this is quite long, and you may not agree with this, but allow me to rant:

the terrorist attacks in paris are awful. the syrian refugee crisis has had my stomach in knots for months now. the bombing in kenya is disgusting. the sex trafficking (children, women, &men) worldwide has been ongoing, and is, to me, an act of terror on people on its own.

what baffles me is this new trend of pointing fingers on equality and the amount of conversation around a certain issue, rather than about what is currently happening.

can we look back to the boston marathon? boston had so much support from around the world, from all races and religions, sending their thoughts and prayers in solidarity – we welcomed those well wishes with open arms.

meanwhile, there were plenty of world atrocities going on. people were still dying in the middle east. children were still getting married off to grown men in south asia. human trafficking was and still is everywhere, even in the states.

people expressed their condolences – that was that. we didn’t hear people around the world expressing their opinions on why boston shouldn’t be prayed for. the attack on boston wasn’t downplayed with comparisons to other world crises at the time.

so why is this happening to paris?

what happened in paris is horrible. innocent lives were taken, families were affected. i know plenty of people in paris, any one of them could have been hurt, but all of them are affected. i, for one, have a clear emotional connection to paris. i’ve had incredible memories there with some of the kindest people – i mourn for the those lost and the toll that these attacks have taken on the city.

however, that doesn’t mean that i don’t constantly think about the syrian refugee crisis and how it bothers me that although the new york times reports on it all the time, and how the numbers of refugees have surpassed 6 million, few around me do more than skim headlines when it comes to a people they don’t know.

i feel gutted when i read about 12 year old girls taken out of school to be forcefully married to grown men, but that’s not an issue that people can relate to, so i suppose that’s why it’s left out of the conversation.

but why is it that when facebook, or a general population come together to support a western, modern city in a time of need, the syrian crisis, the kenyan bombing, or a myriad of other atrocities across the world are brought up in comparison?

first, if you care so much about these causes, talk about them, research them in the first place. i’ve read very, very few shared articles on any of the crises happening around the world — i’ve even been told that my feed is a bit depressing, but that’s besides the point.

the point is – there is no comparison. every life is valuable. we are all human. why are we chastising facebook for not doing enough when facebook could have done nothing at all? why are we chastising people for praying for paris? something awful happened to the city – can we be in the present and let them grieve and support them in that grief?

by comparing paris to other terrors around the world, we’re downplaying their pain. why do that?

why not continue to be educated on all current events, and worry about ourselves and sharing news with our peers?

i wish more of my friends cared more about human trafficking and the syrian crisis. but that’s MY prerogative to follow those topics and MY prerogative to send prayers and thoughts and efforts that way.

i’m pleased that people are coming together to support paris, and i’m very happy that at least the western world is uniting once again to (hopefully) drive out some of the darkness with love and support.

there’s plenty of work to be done worldwide. women and children still walk miles a day to get dirty water. child soldiers are still ordered to kill daily in south sudan and other parts of africa. women still don’t basic rights worldwide. 36 people die of guns a day in the US, that’s more than 200 a week.

none of these things should be a problem, just as the boston marathon bombing shouldn’t have happened, just as 9/11 shouldn’t have happened, just as paris shouldn’t have happened, just as families shouldn’t have to flee to the sea, knowing the sea is safer than their homes.

yet, they have. so i’m going to send my love and thoughts to paris, but i’m also going to continue to be educated on all events worldwide. i don’t know individuals potentially affected by the refugee crisis in syria, and i don’t know anyone that lives in kenya – but my thoughts go to them regardless.

i’m going to continue sharing news on cambodian fisherman who are tricked into basically being slaves, on how refugee women in camps are harassed and assaulted — it is my responsibility to share what i want others to know about, but i don’t expect everyone to be as invested in all the same issues i’m invested in.

i can only hope in a time like this, we stop pointing fingers to compare disasters and how much conversation revolves around each, but we treat each atrocity as its own issue, all deserving of conversation and all deserving of condolences.

after all, we are all human. when will we understand that?

so yes, ‪#‎parisstrong‬, ‪#‎prayersforparis‬, ‪#‎prayersforhumanity‬.

This entry was posted in: Ponders


kimmi loves that you've perused her blog! feel free to let her know what you liked (or maybe didn't like) about her posts. she hopes you've found her posts helpful in some way, shape or form. she also hopes that in sharing her growth through wanders, ponders, eats, and reads, you'll be inspired or nudged to travel more, reflect more, eat more and read more -- all things she holds near and dear to her heart. happy reading!

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