11.14.2015

My mother returned from a trip to Israel Friday, landing at LAX just as the attacks in Paris were unfolding. My aunt and uncle were in Paris exactly one month ago. I travelled through four European cities in July of this year (France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland). And our beloved babysitter was just two weeks ago sunbathing in Croatian waters. The world is not so big anymore.  
In 1989, I studied English Lit in Cambridge, England. This was my first introduction to the constant threat of bombs and nearby danger - we were often called off the bus or tube, malls were daily evacuated, packages exploded if left unattended and streets ropes off, although it was a different warring party than today's. This was the beginning of my healthy and necessary understanding, adult insight of our global condition.
 
I realized on my early morning walk today, that while I do not have a solution for the fear and suffering and anguish this kind of violent act brings to all of us, I will not be part of the problem. If I cannot be part of the solution (I feel angry, powerless and impotent today) I will at least not be part of the problem.  
I will not raise my children to hate other religions or ways of life. I will not tell them there is ONLY ONE WAY. I will not vilify whole groups or parties, even those that seem stupid or wrong to me.  
I will call out and name hate and evil, as some will always court death - that is intelligent and wise to push back the sociopath and sadists, teaching my children to be suspect of such mixed agendas and ulterior motives that harm others. Wrong is wrong. Dogma, zealotry, and rigid beliefs are dangerous in all areas of life.
All religions have beauty and all cultures have darkness - so let's be right-sized.

 Most opposing societies co-exist along side others with respect and tolerance. If you doubt this, reflect on the numerous Indian reservations scattered throughout our county, which is what we have asked those Native Peoples to do for us. Tolerate. While honoring my own religion of choice, as my family has a faithful religious practice, I can allow others to do the same, without prejudice; not inconsistent.  
Everyone has a Paris story. My husband spent three weeks with the Rolling Stones in the 70's. He only remembers four days, but it was a highlight. He still admires the black top hat that held a bottle of Dom Perignon from the experience.  
If you don't have your Paris experience yet, be sure to get one! 

U2 Pays Tribute to Paris Attacks and Cancels Nearby Concert


Instead of saying "I don't have time," try saying "It's not a priority." That is more honest and might be perfectly appropriate - Hellen Mirren