This Could Happen To Me

I’m still reeling. I can’t make sense of the things that happened over the last few days, all around the world.

I’m overwhelmed, my brain is dizzy. I am shocked, outraged, heartbroken about the attacks in Paris on Friday night. But I’m confused. Why is this one different? Why have these attacks affected people like this, when all of the ones that came before didn’t? What about Syria? What about Beirut? This is happening all over the world, all of the time…

I try to understand. I reason with myself. I think, y’know this is PARIS. That’s really close to home. It’s a city we know, we’ve visited, we’re connected. But Calais is closer than Paris, and there’s a tragedy happening there too. It might not see gunmen and terror attacks, but the people stuck there have. These are the exact things they are fleeing from. They’ve experienced the bombers, the fear, the destruction. That’s why they flee. That’s why they’re in Calais in the first place, isn’t it?

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But what was it about Paris that got the world’s attention? Why can we only filter our Facebook profile pictures with the French flag? I am absolutely NOT saying that the world shouldn’t stand up and listen after the events of Friday night. We all should. Standing together, supporting each other and uniting as humanity is what we must do against this crazy, inhumane activity.

But Paris isn’t the only horror in this world. It’s not an isolated incident. Attacks like this happen so often, affecting many, many people and forcing them to leave everything to find safety. Why is Paris the one we see on the news? How many other things do we not know about? How can we feel the sadness for these atrocities if we’re not shown them, if we don’t know that they’re there?

But maybe we should make that our aim. To find out what is happening, to understand and to support the victims of such terror. All of them.

Paris got our attention. It made us think “This could happen to me”. Maybe now we can all understand. Share our compassion, unite for all humanity.

“From up close we more clearly see, the horror from which refugees flee.”

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