In relation to the recent terror attacks in Paris, I came across a few posts on Facebook that I may be misinterpreting, as I do have the tendency to attach emotions to actions even when I know that I should not. However, I can’t help but feel as though some people are almost bitter about the majority of the social media population sympathizing for Paris, France but not for Beirut, Lebanon and other victims of terrorism or even natural disasters.
Firstly, no offence to most of us but we really are more of a sheep than a lion (if there is such a thing). We – meaning most of us and NOT all of us – are followers and we go where the influence is. Someone, or even an organization, with a decent following started #PrayforParis and we sympathize with Paris. You want people to pray for Lebanon, Japan and others? Then start the campaign to spread the awareness. In fact, I saw that #PrayforParis now has the company of #PrayforLebanon, #PrayforJapan, #PrayforMexico, #PrayforBaghdad and #Prayforworldpeace.
Personally, I think that people must realize that it’s easier for some (or maybe most) of us, with “overcrowded” minds [and some even hearts] to sympathize with what we know and what we can relate and connect with. People [in the know] shouldn’t judge others who feel no “strong connection” to other places [people] that are victims of terrorism and/or natural disasters. Is it not a good enough start for us to extend ourselves even a little outside of us and sympathize with Paris because we know of Paris, of France? Perhaps, most of us are able to “feel” for Paris because we have visited and enjoyed the city, or have lived there, or have family, relatives and/or friends there. Why focus on what we’re not doing? Why not appreciate that we can pray for another, be it only Paris, instead of simply continuing to pray for ourselves and our own desires and wishes alone! Those who know of incidents elsewhere and sympathize with the victims must then start the awareness. Instead of questioning why the whole of social media world prays for Paris and not for Lebanon, Japan, etc., why not “educate” us and spread the awareness instead of trivializing our sympathy for Paris.
Terrible news that tend to conjure up negative energies in us are abound and some of us choose to limit the negativity that we allow in our lives. Therefore, we avoid the news. We only get to know of the more popular happenings because we cannot avoid them as we live our simple lives, scrolling down our Facebook newsfeed.
One day, I will visit Mexico and Japan, perhaps even Lebanon and Baghdad, then I will have a personal connection with the countries and their people. Until then, allow me – in peace – to grieve with and for the Parisians because once upon a time, I got lost in their train system and despite the language barrier, I got assistance from a helpful and kind train [Parisian] personnel. I have a connection with Paris because I once climbed the Eiffel Tower on foot, walked along Avenue Des Champs-Elysees and Paris’ other streets as I got lost in the city a couple of times and then found my way around again, and had to fend off an amorous Frenchman who tried to pick me up as I made my way from the hotel to the train station. In fact, I was already in love with the French even before Paris, when a French lady officer in London St. Pancras told me that I was hot. Yes, I am shallow! Yes, my world is small and I tend to have in it only those who contribute to it, significantly or otherwise, and those who stroke my ego even a little. Thus, my sympathy for anything outside of me is truly a big deal, so please do allow me that. After all, I’m not hurting anyone in the process, am I?
Don’t judge me [us]! Don’t downplay and discount what I’m [we’re] capable of doing, of what I’m [we’re] doing! Or do you really want me [us] to just talk about the Kardashians?