After recent attacks in Paris and Beirut, plus the natural disasters that hit Japan and Mexico, many young adults are facing a terrifying truth for the first time. This is the world, and soon, it’s ours.
Every triumph and tragedy is ours to deal with. Not just the events in the U.S., but the events all over our increasingly shrinking world.
The attacks — particularly those in Paris — shook Western societies from the ground up. When the attacks on 9/11 happened, those of us born in the ‘90s were in elementary school. That’s not old enough to fully understand what was happening in New York. We’re older now, and comprehending the world we live in is a challenge we’re facing head-on.
Although the attack on Paris is one of many terrorist attacks that have happened over the years, it seems to have influenced the American public more. Facebook is littered with the red, white and blue icons as well as posts discussing every aspect of the event.
We as a country are concerned because France is like us. Many Americans dismiss Lebanon as a little known brown or black Middle Eastern country without the same technologies, religions or ideals as us. France is a well-developed, primarily white country that the U.S. has been allies with since before the revolutionary war.
The attack on Paris helped wake the Western world from its collective sleep and — in a brief moment of clarity — show us what many people deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Beirut was attacked on the day before the Paris attacks, but the attention drawn to those attacks paled in comparison to the — warranted — outpouring of sympathy for Paris.
While the Internet is rightfully filled with #PrayForParis, there are significantly less #PrayForBeirut tags. Practically, this is due to Paris’ role as a global city and the center of media operations in France. Philosophically, it’s because Beirut is “over there” and Paris is very close to home.
Thousands of Syrian refugees flee their country every day to escape bombings and attacks that happen there while countries like France, England and the U.S. are pressured to close their borders to prevent the same refugees from entering their land.
Basically, while the terrorism in the world affects all, Paris showed us that fear can affect everyone, anywhere.
Whether it’s at a funeral, at a soccer game or at a concert, after this past Friday, it’s hard to feel safe when out and about. The events brought to light that we trust those around us with our lives more than we realize.
These attacks were a painful reminder that it takes only a few acts of violence and barbarism to rattle the foundations of a civilized society.
Following the 9/11 attacks, the French newspaper Le Monde ran a headline reading, “We Are All Americans.” Today, we all must stand up and not only declare “we are all French” but “we are all human.”
We must not only care about France. We must care about all of the world’s people as they regain their footing after one devastating loss or many. It is our duty to not be afraid, but to support those in their time of need, just as they supported us in our time of need. We can’t control the actions of others, but we can control the way we react to them.
Solidarity refers to the ties in a society that bind them together as one, usually for a certain cause. Today, we must all stand together.
“Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
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