Today is not a good day, we awake to heavy hearts and to a changed world, again.
Everyone by now is painfully aware of the devastation and horror that occurred last night in Paris, where approximately 128 people were killed and countless others left critically injured in six coordinated attacks in different locations around the city.
These attacks have begun to happen so regularly that they have become a sort of ‘norm’ in our lives, but what we will never become accustomed to is the horror and sadness that accompanies each one.
I’ve seen different friends on Facebook posting about goings on in their own lives and different news organisations posting about other things happening in the world apart from the attacks and that’s a good thing certainly.
I firmly agree that our collective lives and the day to day goings on should not be disrupted by the actions of a few.
For me though, for today, it is impossible to think about anything else.
Honestly I’ve just been left incredibly sad by what happened last night and for me it does feel a little strange to say this, as I didn’t know anybody personally affected or have any personal interest affected by the attacks.
The only interest that I’ve had in the attacks, is one that has become more and more evident as the day goes on, like many others around me, my interest has been a complete ‘human’ one.
We feel for those innocent civilians who were just out to enjoy themselves on a Friday evening.
That’s all they were doing last night, some were out eating in restaurants with friends, some were walking the streets taking in the brisk winter air while others were enjoying themselves through the beauty of music at a concert.
They didn’t deserve to die last night, it’s as simple as that.
I’m just very sad right now that this happened to them and to their loved ones.
They say that ‘war never changes’ and right now this rings true, it will always be the innocent who are the first to suffer.
In the wake of such a horrific scenario, many people today are left wondering.
What do we do in the aftermath of such horrible violence?
How are we supposed to act?
My answer? It made sound naively simple and downright cliché but I think we just need to let ourselves feel.
No analysing the ‘what if’s and the why’s and the what nows’.
We need to allow ourselves to feel all of it.
We need to allow ourselves to feel all of the heavy pain and sadness for those who have lost friends and loved ones.
We feel for all those left alive today who are living in fear on what should be just another brisk, busy and normal morning.
We feel the anger towards the callous and cowardly perpetrators that committed a complete act of senseless violence and brutality against defenseless, unarmed citizens.
Most importantly though, we need to allow ourselves to feel hope and pride. Pride in the way that we and the entire world reacted to the atrocities last night.
Right now, my Facebook feed is covered in the red, white and blue of France.
Friends have changed their profile pictures to show their support, messages of comfort are displayed for all to see, while buildings and symbols in countries around the planet have been lit up in these same colours to show their solidarity.
This show of humanity is beautifully heartening to see and helps to lift a little of the gloom that has descended on our people today.
We must use this strength and solidarity in the future, we must not and cannot bow to the will of those who are determined to cow us into fear, we must persevere.
While this may not be a good day, we must remember that there will always be something good in every day.