(Andrew Meares, via Sydney Morning Herald)
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realising that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world”
In the aftermath of any tragedy or inconceivable event, in this age of social media there follows an outpouring of noise; as people try to understand what is happening by hurling views and opinions out into the ether.
I feel like there have been numerous academics who discussed the problems of IS more eloquently than I can (I’d recommend the most recent New Statesman podcast and my former uni’s Political Worldview podcast to get an idea); and besides, anything that I might say about blowback and how frustrated I remain by the international community’s refusal to act in Syria when Assad began killing his own people, isn’t going to be much consolation to the families and friends of the 132 people who have died so far. Nor will shouting about the hypocrisy in the Western media’s lack of coverage of the Beirut attack bring back the 41 people killed there. These issues are massively complex and can’t be boiled down to click-bait blog posts or opinion pieces. The only thing I can really say, is that we are incredibly lucky to only have to feel this fear and anxiety about the future when attacks as rare as this happen. That we do not live somewhere where either our own government or fanatics with guns pose a daily threat to our lives; to the point that we would risk everything to travel to a continent that offers hope; only to discover that the things we are running from are there as well.
However, amongst the noise and the bigots who use attacks like this to further promote division, there are always people doing great things, and I’d really like to focus on them.
- The #PorteOuverte hashtag which was used by Parisians to offer safety to others
- The security guard who prevented a suicide bomber entering the Stade de France
- The hundreds of people who turned out to donate blood to those wounded
- The vigils and Tricolore lighting around the world
- The Refugees Welcome march that took place in Colchester
- Paris incredibly beautiful, experts confirm (because sometimes humour is what you need)