Searching for Hope After the French Tragedy; Writers Use Their Keyboard to Sort Out Thoughts & Feelings

November 19, 2015
 / 130 comments


french tragedy

Hey,

I’ve never done a post like this before. The idea to do this just came to me about 90 minutes ago.

I was able to make an image for this topic in an unbelievably quick turnaround.

That only confirmed to me that this post is the right thing to do.

Let’s Find Hope Together After This French Tragedy

I want to get this post published before it’s even close to being finished.

Mainly because this event is still so raw to us and we all as writers and bloggers need to process it.

So I’m going to open this up for you before I have included my own writing on this…here’s how you can join in.

1. If you already have a blog post or some other form of writing on the Paris terrorist incident, email me a link to it by putting “France Tribute” in the subject line to matt@buildyourownblog.net  (Your writing can also be about Lebanon or Nigeria, not just France.)

2. If you have not written anything about this but want to do so, please share your essay, poem, story, speech, whatever form of writing, in the comments below.

I’m going to be frequently updating this post over the next several days, so don’t be surprised if there is new material on here whenever you come back for more reading.

This post is experimental.

I don’t know how this is going to go or where we will end up. I am excited though to find out.

My heart and mind have experienced many emotions and thoughts since last Friday.

I’m sure you have too.

The purpose of this post is to be an outlet of creativity amidst tragedy. One of my favorite writers, Flannery O’Conner, famously said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

That’s what this post is for…to help you know what you think about the event in Paris by writing your thoughts.

Hey, if you write them down and then decide you don’t want to share with us, that’s totally cool. At least doing the exercise will (hopefully) bring you some benefit.

Okay, again, I’ll be adding stuff constantly over time…..my own thoughts are not here at the moment. I’m going to add mine later. This doesn’t mean you can’t beat me to it.

I’ll be checking my inbox periodically, looking for subject lines that say “French Tribute” with your link.

If you want to be spontaneous and start writing on this now, you should go for it in the comments. Let’s see what happens…

Matthew 9:43 PM CST U.S. Fellow writers who have already written about the French tragedy are now sending in links to their work. Here are the blog posts people have shared:

Aftermath

The French Flag On Facebook

Peace, Please

=================================================

10:16 PM Wednesday

Someone emailed me this story and wanted to remain anonymous.

Dear Matt, I live in Newtown, Connecticut. I love quotes. And I have one quote in particular that my friend once said, one that means so much to me even though it may mean nothing to someone else: The stars are out tonight.

When the shooting at Sandy Hook happened, 26 stars were attached to the top of the Sandy Hook firehouse, which is where the children fled to on that day.

One year after it had happened, my family was buying a Christmas tree from that same firehouse. The stars had each been outlined in lights, so I went across the street and took a picture. french tragedy Ever since then, stars have been a huge symbol for me.

To me, they represent those who have passed, and the fact that every day they are here with us, never lost, never forgotten. Each day they grow older, but they don’t change, they don’t move from the spot of which they reside, up above us, and in our hearts. So my point is, I guess, that the stars are out tonight. They are tonight and they always will be. They will always be here, and we will continue on, not move past or over but continue; we will hold onto those we have lost while at the same time advancing in our own journeys, building on our stories.

This, what happened, is a piece of our story, it will forever be with us. It is not a hole that was created and must be filled, but exactly the opposite. It is a piece that has been added onto us, added onto our stories. But it does not have to be a bad piece, we cannot give it the power to weigh us down into a dark place. Instead, we must remember to accept, to forgive, and to love. Most of all, we cannot forget that the stars are out tonight.

Another contribution:

A Letter Unto You

Looking forward to this a distance to entertain us all. Maybe afterwards, we can attend that most elegant but yet affordable restaurant that you have been so eager to experience.

This hand written letter is just a genuine, faithfully sincere way to act accordingly of how much you mean to me.

Goosies traveling within just thinking of our romantic evening together. For, this is a handwritten letter unto the love of my life, which is that of you. Think of me all day long as I will be thinking of you for eternity”.

Possibly, could have been an aspiring written letter acknowledging the excitement of being intertwined in their very own selflessness, inspiring relationship.

Possibly, throughout the day, joy filled their hearts in increasingly anticipation.

Possibly, that letter was of a seasoned married couple, or maybe newlyweds. Naiveness fills us all, unknowingly, of that very day of Friday, November 13, 2015.

The thoughts of all, whom woke up that very day, never thought, death, would come to pay a visit, Last chances to breathe on their own, they just didn’t realize that GOD’s grace and mercy would enrapture, embrace the very essence of their life. Unknowingly, their fate would be destined to breathe no more. Corruption in such depths of a deepened, unsettling sea of severe “hatred” consumed the very being of them. Confidence of inner peace has been rattled, shaken once more. How many years has it been since the unforgettable tragedy of 9/11? Since, many still have been recrenmated into many casualties overseas as well as continuous murders on the soil of a freedom country, America.

An extensive package deal of “fear” has interceded within the true essence of the GOD fearing being, which is all of you. An unexpected ambush surrounded those honorary souls in Paris. Some, subjected to lying in pools of thick coded blood, without movement, actively playing a role of being dead. My, my possibly, In due time, the heart of Paris will mend, bond, woven into the acts of forgiveness, no matter how much the agony the tears of despair keeps reappearing. In due time, eventually, the hearts of Paris will heal underneath the dismissing matrimony of living in “Fear”. 

Author: Chanda K. Clark  

11 PM CST U.S.

Hey everyone, I must go get some sleep. Keep the comments coming. Lot’s of interesting stories and poems already here to enjoy.

I’m finding myself gaining new hope in humanity just by reading what you are sharing.

How about you?

Please share this page on social media! I appreciate you so much.

I’ll be back here tomorrow. Can’t wait to see who else drops in.

Peace,

Matthew

==============================================

5:15 PM CST U.S.

A super crazy work day today. Time to add some contributing blog posts. These pertain to the Paris, Nigeria or Lebanon tragedies of late…

Reoccurrence

Monday Musing

The Paris Tragedy – My Feelings

=========================================================== V

Via email

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to you page Matt.

The anger and sadness

Acts of terror instilled in me

Remind me that to be human

Is to be imperfect

But some imperfections

Are unforgivable.

Regards,

Brian Howley

==============================================================

Friday, November 20

From my inbox:

Hi Matthew, I hope this email reaches you. The piece I submitted for the competition was inspired by the incident in France and speaks to it and all the violence all world is experience, all the lives that are stolen by these violent acts. I call it “Act of War”.

I‘ll see what else I can come up with though.

Regards,

LW

8pm Friday

Hey everyone, Strange technical issues today with this site prevented me from updating this page.

I apologize and will add more soon.

Matthew

================================================================

Monday, November 23, 2015 Added Posts

The Competition of Tragedies

The French Flag on Facebook

Aftermath

Travel & Terrorism

Pandora’s Paris

This is What You Should Know When Tragedy Strikes

 Piece of Words for Peace of World

Attack on Humanity Again!

 Dark Night in Paris

 More Than This

 An Apology

Paris

Senseless

Feelings

Paris

Paris, The Aftermath

Paris Terror Attacks – The Pain In Our Hearts

Hearts With France

Your Little Shooting Star

Strength in Chaos

Let’s War Instead

Before and After the Paris Tragedy

 

130 comments

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  1. MARIA ANGUIANO says:    •   4 years

    Haiku: “The Lights”

    The lights have come on.
    Blue, white, and red beacons shine,
    While broken hearts weep.

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      Hi Maria,

      Haikus come in handy sometimes. 🙂 Very nice.
      Anyone else can write a Haiku if that’s how you want to express yourself.

      Keep hope alive,

      Matthew

      1. Dare Lasisi says:    •   4 years

        Terrorists as Lucifer’s agents!

        Blood! Blood!! Blood!!!
        Predators on rampage
        Killing the innocent souls
        In the name of religion!
        Humanity has lost its soul

        Lucifer’s sons and daughters from the bedrock of hell fire
        Shameless cretins of the earth
        Dregs of the twisted clan
        Beasts in human skins

        From Kano to Paris
        From Yola to Kabul
        From Maiduguri to Mogadishu
        From Islamabad to Ankara
        From New York to Mumbai
        Terrorism like a web of darkness

        Terrorists as bunch of cowards
        Running from pillar to post
        To escape earthly justice
        Terrorists murdered sleep in cold blood
        They shall surely sleep no more.

  2. Andy says:    •   4 years

    Well Matthew it’s never too late to start a blog like this. Not all avenues will be covered. I found out about this from my mother via text. I heard about at my Church service the Sunday night. There is a lady from Church who is from Neice. It is truly a tragedy and when tragedy strikes there is an out pouring of grief from everyone. These attacks were unprovoked, though not unexpected. You can bet that there will be hidden facts we cannot know. Whatever motivates such tragic people is a mystery to my own mind. It brings home to me the hope that is offered by Grace. I suppose thats all I can say for now.

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      Hi Andy,

      I think most of us have a hard time comprehending how someone could do this…there is indeed hope in grace.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

      Matthew

  3. Mikayla Holley says:    •   4 years

    A short poem on my feelings about the Paris attacks

    This tragedy we have seen,
    Our people fallen, lives destroyed
    We will stand together, you
    You cannot shake us
    Power in our numbers and hope in our hearts
    You have won the battle
    But we will win the war

    1. Andy says:    •   4 years

      I believe it was Carmen who wrote a similar track about the Church describing it has a sleeping giant finally awakened. This is not trying to bring religion in on the argument, although that seems to be root at the core of the issue as Isis have claimed responsibility for the attack. We are all human beings and we are not robots or computer systems. That being said we are free to a point to make decisions but not carry out the required punishment or pass judgement. Murder is not on in my book.

  4. Bob Filner says:    •   4 years

    The terrorists when if:

    1. We allow demagoguery by
    Presidential candidates.

    2. We look at all immigrants
    with fear and loathing.

    3. We tell Syrian refugees Not in
    My Backyard.

    4. We allow fear to be the
    excuse for giving up on
    Democracy.

    5. We elect Donald Trump as
    President.

    1. jzm9vs says:    •   4 years

      Well put. All of that!

  5. Nayzak Najm says:    •   4 years

    Hello Matthew! This is a wonderful idea. This poem isn’t specifically about the French attacks, but about the hypocrisy and ignorance of some people’s reactions after similar terrorist attacks — for example, the governors of many US states standing against innocent refugees, or those more than willing to bomb all of Syria without considering the innocent lives. The poem sounds terribly pessimistic, but it’s just a reflection of the pattern of current events: so much effort to create good in the world, yet it all seems pointless, because closed-mindedness has consumed so many of us.

    Peace
    We want peace
    The old man cries
    Holding his dead child
    Under thick, gray skies
    Peace
    Give us peace
    The woman pleads
    Hugging her starving children
    Simply wanting to meet their needs
    Peace
    We dream of peace
    The children explain
    With wide eyes staring
    Eyes filled with pain
    Peace
    Please give us peace
    The families implore
    Covered in ashes
    Drained by war

    Peace
    I’ll give you peace
    The comfortable men whistle
    Just give me a second
    Let me send that missile
    Peace
    Come here for peace
    The wealthy invite
    Just don’t expect us
    To accept you with delight
    Peace
    I will fight for peace
    The ignorant man says
    Holding a gun
    To an innocent child’s head

    Peace
    This world needs peace
    But the poor man begs
    The rich man is bitter
    The wanting man suffers
    The ignorant man snickers
    Peace
    The hopeless man hopes
    The hopeful man doubts
    Wrapped with an endless rope
    And there’s no way out.

    1. Nonjie says:    •   4 years

      Let us Pray

      deep and thought provoking. This one channels our emotional intellect. I want to get up and change my attitude towards others and the world around me. I can not answer every call for help but I know that I have no right to shut up anyone who calls for help. We can pray for goodness and kindness…

    2. Kemi says:    •   4 years

      This Poem almost brought tears to my eyes!!!
      Thank you for sharing it.

      We sometimes think what we are going through is the worst, and want a way out of it no matter what…..then we hear of great tragedies like this…..and someone, it helps us to put things in perspective…..at least I hope. I have been trying to do this recently, to appreciate what I have, no matter how small I think it is at any point in time. To spend more time thinking of others’ pain, instead of cuddling myself with mine, because when one thinks about it, I am alive and well…..

      For those who lost their physical lives, and those who lost their lives to the terror and pain and fear, may God bring comfort.

  6. Mae Landers says:    •   4 years

    Saving a Life

    Saving a life can be easier than we all expect

    But some struggle with the task

    Others want to prevent the task

    But with God we can all stand united

    And pray for all those we lost but save the lives we can

    We pray for Paris and the constant love they receive

    SAVE A LIFE

  7. Alexis says:    •   4 years

    Poem: “Fear”

    Chaos, desolation, destruction
    How are we supposed to function?
    With the fear behind our eyes
    Is it too much to hide?
    It’s shown in the way we talk, the way we walk, the way we live
    As more assaults are occurring it gets harder and harder to forgive
    The men in charge of this deadly attack
    Although they try to break us we must stay in tact
    For they shall not win, strength is in our blood
    This oncoming flood gives way for a flowering bud
    With courage and determination we will strive for victory
    We may be hurt now but defeat will be contradictory
    We have to regain composure, hope for a better day
    The skies may be gray but they will start to fade
    And that will bring room for the blue bright sky
    And there won’t be any more fear left to hide

  8. Rejjia Camphor says:    •   4 years

    I understand how you all feel about paris
    But I can’t believe that some dare fuss
    About them when it’s been happening to people
    All over. This is not the beginning, this is the sequel
    of events that happened already in Kenya, Mexico, Baghdad, Beirut and US
    SO before we all say how we feel and prepare to discuss
    Remember that paris is not the only one suffering right now from this ruckus!!

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      That is so true, Rejjia. I’m glad you brought that up.

      What happened in Paris is terrible. But so is what happened in Lebanon, Nigeria, and other places.

      Thanks for speaking up and reminding us all to be mindful of all, not just some.

    2. Odiah says:    •   4 years

      Beautiful. And so matter-of-fact-edly true. Thanks R.

  9. catherine salazar says:    •   4 years

    I honestly have no idea how to feel about this because this event hasn’t transfered through my brain that it happened, I am in shock. I believe many of us are too, it is hard to put feelings into words. Especially on such a controversal issue. This still hasnt processed as I’m writing my thoughts down. But, I feel upset because we are in that time where we are all just afraid what might happen in the future. It feels like the after math of 9/11 all over again. But, this time it occured on a bad timing. Just so much is going on that we can’t focus on one thing and that is very suspicious. I just wonder what will happrn next? All I hope for would be for us all to stay united, not just humans but animals too.

    Thank you.

    Je suis paris.

    1. Lysa says:    •   4 years

      Thank you much for your reflection, Catherine. You’ve expressed perfectly on paper what most of us are thinking and contemplating, in its rawest form.

  10. Adryan Fonseca says:    •   4 years

    The attack on France was a heart wrenching event. Events like these are events no one should ever live to experience or witness. This shook countries world wide with their trembling hearts, and created a sea of the tears wept for the fallen. The tragedy caused the world to finally open their eyes of the horrors people are capable of bringing, and shed light on to the life-taking plague of inhumane individuals causing these horrors. The support given by the rest of the world will surely bring France together again. Assisting with their path to strength and health can and will bring them back their feet once again.

  11. Mary Williams Hyde says:    •   4 years

    I always look to the history of mankind at times likes this for guidance and perspective. This isnt the first time nor will it be the last time that innocent people die, victims of conflicts they have no control over. To predict how this will all play out is made complicated because there have never been so many human beings competing for so few resources EVER..and surely the root cause of these conflicts is scarcity and hopelessness. I am disappointed that here in the US so many have reacted with fear, of the same kind that resulted in internment camps for the Japanese so many years ago. I concede that there is historical evidence that this is what humans do under these circumstances. The problem is, in my opinion, we can not react the way we have always reacted before…..time is up for us as humans. If we are going to save innocent lives and the planet, we are going to have to make a supreme effort to get along with each other, spread wealth more evenly, share our resources more fairly, work harder to protect the environment, and put aside our religious and political differences. Now is the time for us to be braver than we have ever thought possible, and more compassionate than we have ever been. Almost all people on the planet are good people, only a relatively few are not. We are stronger united than divided.

  12. Demyia says:    •   4 years

    It’s like there is some underlining reason for all the violence happening. I wonder if they are lost or searching for some truth.

  13. Rachel says:    •   4 years

    I first heard of the Paris tragedy on social media. It caused me to look up what exactly had happened and through that I discovered that other things had happened in other countries as well. It filled me with sorrow and a sense of irony, for these things to happen on Friday the 13th. I had already been questioning all things in humanity, but this takes the cake. For people to disagree so much about how things are taken care of in a certain country or how their views clash with other’s, to take it to a degree that they destroy other’s lives, that they take people away from their families forever, it’s repulsive. What upsets me most however, is that despite how many say they will help and support as much they can over the Internet, in truth, that they will forget over the course of a few weeks, even days. In this time and year, everything tragic gets forgotten all too soon.

  14. Nonjie says:    •   4 years

    Let us Pray

    With a prayer lets us paint a canvas.
    Close your eyes for Paris.
    For the victims, bow your heads.
    For the world kneel by your beds.
    Let not your heart hate
    nor submit to terrorists.
    Say Amen for forgiveness.

  15. Jeanne Dockins says:    •   4 years

    Following the French tragedy, pain, sorrow, grief, confusion, disbelief, rage, anger and denial pulsed through the veins of relatives, friends, acquaintances and people from countries all around the world. Those responsible for these heinous executions have been raised to commit these violent acts against humanity for reasons beyond our comprehension and their behaviors are intolerable.

    The lives of the lost are not in vain as this fatal event has brought the people of the world together in compassion. This compassion raised the consciousness of the planet and united people globally. With continued compassion the masses will awaken to ‘love not war’ which will one day bring peace to the world.

  16. Arafa Alhammadi says:    •   4 years

    My heart hurts, not for people in Paris but the whole world. Unfortunately the media only show what they want people to see, but when it comes to other countries like Nigeria, Sirya, Yemmen, Lebanon, South Sudan and many other countries that is going through series cruises thousands of people who die, and yet no body wants to talk about it like it nothing happens, and I when ISIS or ISIL adopted the cases that happened in Paris, the whole world wants to pray for Paris while only 150+ people who died or got injured not quiet remembering but what about the other innocent souls? I would pray for the human kind, I won’t just pray for Paris! The other souls also need someone to pray for them. This is isn’t about one country it’s about how we human can all stand together and fight the evil ones. But not to fuocs on one area because others did.. May Allah their souls rest in peace, may our world should have an era of peace. No more wars no more killing no more hates among us.

  17. R. says:    •   4 years

    I can’t express how glad I was when I got the email about this. The attacks in Paris are so devastating and just as I was going through Matthew’s brief commentary, I was even happier to see that he included Nigeria and Lebanon. No doubt that there is some prejudice in the fact that the media is more about the tragedies in some parts of the world over others but I understand this to an extent. I mean, I would help save my friend over a stranger. Also, I’m not blind to the fact this inequality is also partly as a result of political agenda, but in situations like this, I only like to look at the way forward. I’m Nigerian and only moved to the U.S. permanently in 2013 and still somehow barely heard about the attacks in Nigeria. I cut myself off from social media to an extent and so don’t check on it as I used to but i still do a couple of times a day. And going on Facebook, twitter and Instagram, I can boldly say I saw news about the attacks in Nigeria a total of two times. A CNN news clip on Facebook and a still on Instagram. I should note that today, I spoke to my mom, brother and a couple of Nigerian friends who did not mention anything about it except one who mentioned it briefly and we talked about it for about three minutes total while I myself did not mention it to anyone either but would not stop talking about the Paris attack. Simply because talking is not activism and I’m not a very political person, I can’t give a reason for this. Yes, i can blame it on the media for shoving my face into one while basically ignoring the other and no, at the end of this post I don’t have some sort of life-changing message or world-saving solution to this problem with the Islamic state extremists and even though I’m christian and believe in prayers and deliverance and God changing people’s heart, I personally think the solution or at least way forward is LOVE. As cliche as this sounds, I think it is one of the most plausible solutions. Not hatred-which these extremists want btw. Yes nations are obliged to “attack” back so to say, if they see the need to, but these places that are being blown up ‘in return’ have kids who would loose family members and then would be taught that the ‘infidels’ blew their families and communities up. These innocent minds in turn become terrorists themselves. I know this is a far stretch and sheer overthinking and as I said, I seriously don’t have a suggestive solution to this problem and trust me, I tried to come up with something to say at the end of this post that would be thought provoking and a possible solution, but I could not come up with anything. I was glad when Matthew said we could just write anything concerning this and he did not necessarily insinuate something super smart and political and philosophical. If these ‘people’ see our posts and hear our voices and realize that they can’t break us and although we mourn, we would not let them win. No Boko Haram, no Al-Queda, no ISIL, no ISIS, NOTHING can make me loose my faith in humanity and the power of love and unity. And finally, I WON’T PROCLAIM WITH MY MOUTH A WWIII because WE WON’T LET THEM!!!!

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      Hi R.,

      I know and have been friends with several Nigerians over the years. I’m glad you joined in the conversation and shared your heart.

      Yes, the power of love and unity still remains. We just need to dust it off and use it.

      We will NOT let them win!

  18. Jensen says:    •   4 years

    Title: What’s Happening?

    What happened to my city?
    I hear the news on
    And there’s nothing good to hear
    From my perch on the stairs I watch as
    Mommy is calling my aunties and uncles
    Crying in the phone for them to pick up.
    I see Daddy staring out the window
    His dark locks wild as he runs his hands through them
    There are police on my street and they have guns
    From far away I hear popping, like the kernels my auntie brought from America
    I hear screams and cover my ears, hoping it will go away
    That night the city is dark
    I look at Daddy, confused and frightened
    What had happened to my city?
    Why are people blaming the Muslims?
    My friend is Muslim and she isn’t hurting anyone
    Why is Mommy saying that Uncle Andre won’t be coming home?
    Why is everyone afraid?
    Why won’t someone tell me what’s happening?

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      Wow, Jensen! Vivid first hand account from Paris in the form of poetry.
      Great read. Can I share this?
      What is your age? (If you don’t mind me asking.)

      1. Dare Lasisi says:    •   4 years

        STANDING UP FOR GLOBAL PEACE

        Terrorists struck again

        At the heart of Paris

        The most beautiful city in the world

        The city of glamour, kisses and champagne

        France is bleeding…

        Bleeding with the blood of the innocent souls.

        When shall this bleeding stop?

        Shall we all fold our hands and do nothing?

        France, the epicentre of romantic Kisses

        France, the homeland of guillotine

        France, the birthplace of French lingua.

        France,the origin of best wine in the world.

        Charlie Hebdo provokes with pen

        Freedom of expression gone too far

        Terrorists grab the opportunity

        To destroy and murder in cold blood

        Terrorists must not have the last laugh

        Two Rs destroying our world : Race & Religion.

        Religion is freedom not bondage.

        Time to crush all terrorists without mercy!

        Boko Haram,ISIS,Al-Shabbab,Al-Qaeda etc.

        @Dare Lasisi

      2. Jensen says:    •   4 years

        Yes you may. And I’ll be 18 soon

  19. M Jane says:    •   4 years

    Was it Mahatma Gandhi who said ‘what we do to our children, they do to society’? We need to remind each other to continue to live by peaceful example so that even if children are born into environments, communities or cultures that teach hatred or intolerance perhaps they can find focus on a better way of living. A lost or troubled person such as those responsible for this barbaric series of acts in France could have found a higher calling, a way of belonging that would have enabled them to contribute toward the enrichment of life, not the destruction of it. All world religions provide avenues for this. And the world’s media, now reporting on the aftermath, have the audacity to refer to the perpetrator as a ‘mastermind’. This is not leading by example. A more apt description is sick, troubled, twisted and in need of the help that he could have had within his community.

  20. RoeGarrido says:    •   4 years

    Friday the 13th, why are so many people superstitious about the date?
    To me the date doesn’t matter, except it did on November 13,2015, this will be a day that no one will soon forget. The world watched in horror when our media started reporting the multiple bombings that were set off in Paris, France.
    It brought me back to 9/11/2001, when my hometown NYC was attacked without warning.
    Who is to blame for the morbid scenes that were shown around the world? By now we know the answer, but how can we make sense of it all. As a civilized society, all we can do is hope that love and peace will radiate to everyone in our world, but that is an unrealistic utopic ideology!
    As someone who has traveled to over thirty countries in her lifetime, I have had the great honor of traveling to both Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium. These are two countries with so much history and culture that we forget that there are dark clouds everywhere, we must let the light in and try to not let pessimism and hatred enter into our own hearts.
    It is imperative that we not blame anyone religion or culture,for this would only make us ignorant and we have to rise above frivolous thoughts!
    Tears filled my eyes when I thought of all the people who would never go home again, and lives that were cut short in an instance and all the dreams that will never be fulfilled.
    My hope is that we can come together and try to continue being supportive of our brothers and sisters in Paris,France! May peace be with us all!

  21. Freshta Nawabi says:    •   4 years

    Hi Mathew, I also decided to write a short poem.

    This earth shakes with the cries of thousands,
    Of women and children who drown in their own sufferrings,
    But light will continue to paint our skies,
    So long we revolve around the Sun.
    Do not bow down to the dark clouds in our midst,
    They will soon catch fire
    And cultivate this earth with their tears.

  22. Patricia Taylor says:    •   4 years

    I changed my Facebook profile picture, and added the French flag. I did this to show my support, in some small way for the terrible tragedies that France experienced. I was amazed as to how many people were critical of this small act of kindness. Many of them questioning why I wasn’t putting our own flag up, and supporting people in our own Country.

    My heart aches for the loss of all these innocent lives, in the Paris tragedy. Not only were there 150 lives lost, but 1000s of people will feel the repurcussions of the loss of someone dear to them. Let us not forget those that have been injured, as many of them will have to continue their lives scarred emotionally and physically in some way.

    My hear aches for France, as this tragedy has broken a society. They have been in mourning for almost a week now, and will continue to feel the immense sadness of this tragedy. Not only is France in mourning, but the whole world mourns with them. We have all lost something, and for me I have lost a little more of my belief in humankind.

    My heart aches for the world we have become. I continuously wonder why we can’t respect each others beliefs, instead of being so judgemental. Surely this way we would work together to build better lives for all. The more we accept others, the less extreme we will be in our own beliefs. As it is the extremists in the world that are causing anarchy.

    My heart aches for my own country. Not a day goes by when we do not hear of inhumane acts, and tragedies. At the same time, most of us are living our lives with the best intentions, and acceptance of others. We pray for a better life for all, and do everything in our power to try and make it so.

    By showing my support for France, does not change what I feel, and do for my own Country.

  23. Thompson says:    •   4 years

    This is an awesome opportunity to express the feelings of those that do not have a way for their voice to be heard. As I sit and watch the news about this horrific event transpire it brought back so many memories as the 9/11 attacks. I just remember rolling over getting ready for work and my husband was sitting on the bed in shock. I thought it was a crazy sick type of television show. I asked him what was he watching and he said babe this is real. America is under attack. I will never forget him saying those words.

    This is the same feeling I experienced when I saw this attack. This is senseless violence that has killed and injured innocent victims. Why are we always under attack and we are always helping countries when they are in need. There is nothing that can justify these senseless acts of violence on American people. Will this violence ever end? It just appears that we ned to be afraid of our neighbors as we may live next to someone of the Muslim decent. How can we began to look at members of the islamic as terrorists when terrorists have evolved into different shapes and forms. They have became chameleons that blend into society leaving the american people vulnerable to attacks because they are sitting right in our own backyard.

  24. Julyannie says:    •   4 years

    My prayers go to everyone in Paris. It is a shame that something like this is happening and it is truly heartbreaking but my spirits are lifted to see the support everyone is giving. This world has suffered thought a lot of tragedies but we manage to help each other and make it better. To quote Helen Keller “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” We may not be able to change the tragedies in the past but we can lend a hand and help the pain.

  25. Kelly says:    •   4 years

    Searching for hope in the French tragedy

    The news played on
    The blood
    The fear
    The anger
    The tears
    That incredulous feeling of
    Is this real?
    And that deep gut wrenching recognition
    We will go to war now
    It is time

    I have known for a few years
    I have known it was coming
    Like all of us who spend our days in prayer
    We know
    But I tried to push it away
    Who wants to invite war?

    There it is again
    That semi panic of curdling fear
    War

    What can I do?
    I pray
    This is a war that I must fight on my knees
    And on my beads
    To cover those called to the front lines
    With a measure of grace and divine protection

    To pray
    With faith
    This is what I am called to now
    Faith
    The substance of things hoped for
    The evidence of things not seen

    That kind of faith takes courage

    Years ago
    Before I came to believe
    I scoffed at the idea of evil
    What a fool I was

    For here is evil before us
    Scoffers awake
    Before the evil consumes your freedom

    Perhaps
    If we all took a little time on our knees
    Our world would awaken
    And come to the Light
    And the Truth
    And the Way
    Of Love

    May peace prevail in the wake of this holy war

    Amen

  26. Jerusalem says:    •   4 years

    I sat quietly in my apartment in Paris watching the chaos and security from below. It’s been three days since the attack from ISIS. Some of the citizens were out in the street starting protests and holding up signs saying ‘we are not afraid’ while policemen were urging them to stay home.

    Some of this didn’t make sense. ISIS attacked because the group believed God told them to do so, but terrorism has no religion, and many of them did not see that.

    I let the radio play, and listen to the comments of how the European countries were blocking out Syrian refugees, because that was how one of the ISIS members got in. It frustrated me how one man can destroy the chances, and yet countries around the world refused to understand that this atrocious act that happened here in Paris happens to millions of other people around the world.

    But as I watched the situation from above, I realized that no matter what peace that we achieved, that it would be thwarted again by someone’s dark lustrous intentions. Everything, no matter what would be achieved would always be repeated.

    I began to quietly hum a tune that I heard on a TV show in America that kind of reminded me of the situation. I continued humming before I began to sing:
    “Let’s go in the garden
    You’ll find something waiting
    Right there where you left it
    Lying upside down
    When you finally find it
    You’ll see how it’s faded
    The underside is lighter
    When you turn it around

    Everything stays
    Right where you left it
    Everything stays
    But it still changes
    Ever so slightly
    Daily and nightly
    In little ways
    When everything stays.”

    -Jerusalem Belay

  27. Luis de Miranda says:    •   4 years

    Hi,

    This is what I wrote after the Charlie Hebdo events

    We no longer dream of the Republic. France needs a renewal of faith

    For a nation to be reinvented or reunited, given hope or infused with a new creative spirit, you have to look back to its finest hours and understand what went wrong.

    In historical terms, France’s greatness arose somewhere between the 17th and 18th centuries. There is, at some point between Descartes and the French revolution, an event of planetary importance: the invention of universal, secular humanity.

    Thinking for ourselves
    In the west, humanity did exist as a Christian concept: the mystic body of Christ joining believers in a single spiritual body. But it wasn’t sufficiently universal, for two reasons. First because other religions, atheists or other random deists were basically excluded from Humanity. And second, as has often been noted by the moralists (including Nietzsche), because faith in a transcendent God, in a distant paradise, is usually a cover for repressed misanthropy: it plays down the value of the here below; humans in the absence of God are conceived as feeble and spineless; they are too minor to stand on their own feet.

    Descartes introduced the thinking individual who tears himself away from unquestioning belief. That’s a first victory against despotism and a first step towards the naturalisation of humanity: the discovery of natural Reason, inspired by the ancient Greeks and foremost amongst them Socrates. Each of us has the power of reason – we just have to think for ourselves; we must doubt our everyday beliefs enough to avoid being blinded by passion.

    The group that both liberates and alienates
    Is the reason of the thinking subject enough to relieve our alienation? No, and the Enlightenment philosophers – be they Voltaire or d’Alembert, Diderot or Kant – were never naive individualists. The solitary individual is too vulnerable and prey to passions too strong: she needs enlightened intercourse, a community of practice infused with a social spirit that is open enough to avoid the descent into superstition.

    The 18th century can be thought of as a reflection on our way of being together. The group both liberates and alienates. The Encyclopedistes warn us that ‘esprit de corps’ – the ancestor of solidarity – cuts both ways: inside religious groupings, it becomes a spirit of obscurantism in the service of despots who take advantage of the faithful using false idols and the consolations of ever-present false hope. But still, groups have an identity that is their own – they have their own spirit; there is something that unites humans who come together for a purpose. D’Alembert and Diderot are the first to hint at the notion of a nation with a unifying character that is both a protection and a liberation; an identity that is more than the sum of individual parts – as Aristotle had suggested at the level of the mere city. Later, that spirit became Marianne guiding the French nation or Robespierre’s Supreme Being.

    Robespierre understood that only faith can overcome faith. You cannot fight religion with reason or doubt alone. Humanity needs to believe in something. Rousseau, Robespierre’s intellectual father, offered us the General Will, which reaches beyond Descartes’ private reasoner without destroying it. Here was a collective ‘me’ fit for the Republic.

    Humanity as a living political body
    A political body has a personality and an identity that is greater than the sum of its parts. The notion of overcoming individualism is present already in the social contract. The nation is a person. From that point onwards, the democratic vote becomes a spiritual exercise, a seance, in which the summed collection of votes constituting a majority calls forth the spirit of the general will.

    The final step in the invention of universal, secular humanity came for the French 18th century in the form of the Declaration of the Rights of Man. In 1789, Liberty is naturalised and Equality at birth is posited – at least formally. Humanity is given a political body, becomes a being with a spirit of its own. Today, some call that body Gaïa and include non-human life, long ignored by the descendants of Descartes.

    Since then, the project of the universal citizen has marched forward. It has been eager to overcome fundamentalisms and special interests; obscurantism; individualism and bad faith; the occasionally smiling, occasionally sad cynicism of hyper-capitalism that thrives today like a collective depression. But we find it difficult to make our ideals real because they are so hard to lay out clearly.

    Reason alone will not unite
    In order to create the indivisible union of humanity and Republic, France thought it had to free the individual from the esprit de corps of intermediary groups, especially religious groups that were powerful at the time like the Society of Jesus. France had to create an individual citizen free of any belonging except to the Nation and the Republic.

    But this, as noted by Durkheim or Tocqueville, created a distance between the individual and the Republic which became a chasm that many could not bridge. And when the Nation loses its unity, when the Republic is no longer ideologically attractive nor able any longer to engender faith in its ideals, then we are left only with apparently ‘free’ individuals, each either lost in a quest for private self-realisation or simply surviving.

    No appeal to reason today will succeed in returning to France its open and elegant unity. Humans want to believe in something bigger and more beautiful than generalised competition and its inequalities. We love individual liberty, all the while aspiring to a sense of unity in a juster world.

    Equality and Fraternity – under construction
    If the Republic is no longer admired; if the Nation has given up on progress towards equality; if a hijacking of Marianne or Gaïa no longer allows humanity to toy with the heady joys of fraternity, that gentle sense of being above narrowly private interests; if citizens are marginalised in any attempts to create reality … then ‘citizens’ will turn increasingly to religious groups and their rituals, to communities of interest and practice where they will seek the warm glow of an esprit de corps and pride that the Republic no longer provides – or only does so sporadically, during reactive and belated outpourings.

    The economists who believe that capitalism and liberalism are all that human progress requires are the very same people who see us as rationally self-interested agents. Nothing socially substantial is produced without a grand vision; derision, irony or status competition will never fill the gap left by a unifying project.

    The French Revolution – that gift to the ideal of an indivisible humanity – has only delivered on one third of its program: a certain kind of freedom. Perhaps the hardest part is done: by creating the idea of a universal, secular humanity, France has given us the keys to a historical mission that is yet to be completed: to make equality concrete and fraternity factual. ‘France’ used to rime with ‘elegance’. It will again.

    Best wishes
    Luis de Miranda

  28. Zac says:    •   4 years

    As tragic as all of these attacks are. We mustn’t forget that they have an even greater impact on the Muslim community. It is during those times that we should bring our Islam brothers and sisters closer to us for they are just as (if not more so) shocked and saddened by this.

    1. HEnry says:    •   4 years

      True Zac,
      When I see a white man, I see the image of God. When I see a black man, I see the image of God. When I see an Indian, I see the image of God! When I see a Catholic, I see the image of God, When I see a Moslem, I do see the Image of God! Irrespective of our various differences, we are all created by the same, and Jah/God/Allah/Supremebeing/ etc is his Holly name!!!

      Let us spread the love!!

  29. Lysa says:    •   4 years

    Hey Matthew and All,

    I am very appreciative of what you have going here. Hopefully this can reach a wider audience and be of benefit to everyone who is dealing with this tragedy.

    WOW! Everyone is so talented! I’ve enjoyed the posts I’ve had the chance to read so far. Keep it going!

    I am definitely no where near your brilliant capabilities, but here’s my 2 cents:

    …………………………………………….
    I am…

    I am a husband and a father of 2 beautiful daughters, who had lost his life that Friday night. I didn’t get to tell my wife that I’m sorry for the fight we had before I left.

    I am a daughter of a mother who had been fatally shot during the attack. I wish you were here mommy, so that I can tell you how much I love you.

    I am one of the men that committed the terror attacks that night. I am also a son and a brother. I acted out of ignorance because I thought this would bring freedom to me and my family.

    I am an 8-year-old Syrian refugee. My parents, my baby sister, and I have been enduring many years of abuse and persecution. But due to the group of people who are affiliated with us through country of birth, who have committed those horrible acts, I’m unsure if we will be able to escape this torture.

    I am an anti-refugee. I was not one of the victims nor did I lose anyone that night, but I am living with much fear. I want to protect myself, my family and my belongings, and anyone, who is a treat to those, deserves to die.

    I am just 1 out of 7,381,931,697 people in the world, but what I choose to think, say, and do at this very moment can bring more hatred or peace to this world…

    …and I choose peace.

    The End 🙂
    …………………………………………….

    May all be well, happy, peaceful and free from suffering.

    Kind Regards,
    Lysa

  30. HEnry says:    •   4 years

    I may be far away in Kampala, Uganda from the tragic events in France, but I am as close to humanity as I can be. In my studies, I took French language for four years, excelling with a distinction in both written and spoken as well as in listening comprehension. I was and I still am very proud of the achievement. I learned about the French culture, cuisine, and all, How the French are very hospitable people!

    That the sad events happened in Paris is tragic. How can some one do something like that? What in the name of God where they thinking? Senseless killing of innocents!!! It is disheartening! I shook my fist in the air, I asked God why? – Why do the innocents suffer? But then I was comforted by the fact that in the end, GOOD ALWAYS TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL! In the end, light dispels the darkness!!!

    For all the blog readers here at Matt’s blog, let us commit to start doing small acts of kindness for one another. Acts that are small to you may mean the whole world to someone else. Start out in your neighbourhood, even for a stranger… When we sow seeds of love, togetherness and genuine interest in other people, we reap love and genuine care for ourselves too! And remember, love is the gift that keeps on giving!!!

    Just as Matt has enabled us to express our feelings here on his blog, just as he has empowered us to start blogs of our own through his guidance and training, let us do the same and even more for others!!! Thank you Matt!!!

    To my friends in Paris, France, I wish you joy! This is may be a time of mourning, but it indeed is a time of joy. Behold, I see the end of the tunnel. I see a bright shinning light! I see togetherness, I see darkness disappearing, fleeing from the light!!! Be comforted and be strong knowing that such acts of cowardice will forever be defeated!

    This is the time for all the French to see angels. Those who have never seen one, let them see one when they look you. No bright shinning light, no halo in sight. But just the look in your eyes. The look of love, genuine care and concern. Let them see the angels of peace, love and charity when they look at you!

    To the deceased, rest in peace!

  31. KM Fikes says:    •   4 years

    We writers love story. Some who never ‘drop ink’ live in story. For so many, fiction is fact or vise versa. The eternal power of story is that narratives are Wonderland looking glasses and Dorothy-ean ruby slippers. No matter how mystical, stories reveal me. And you. Stories expose the me in you and vise versa.

    There is a story oft told this time of year. The protagonist is a teen-age mother-to-be who has recently married a young man, allegedly not the infant’s father. Apparently, he knows this too but remains devoted. Holding the reins of a donkey, while the adolescent mother rides – doubled-over in labor pains, they are turned away from inn after inn, “Go away, we have no room.” Until the couple – of humbled means – finds a stable.

    I love walking Paris. It is a poet’s paradise. It is one of the few strolls where those cursed with too much imagination don’t find themselves conjuring an alternate road. There is no need – to make more room. Even the signs to the subway evoke Art Nouveau sonnets. And that makes sense in the City of Light because transportation is the Parisian experience made most manifest. I dig the cobblestones. Paris in the rain is best. Walking in Paris means bookstores, real bookstores of old, baguettes tucked under every, other arm, and scarves lifting the sagging necks of elderly women into stylish statements to shame the cover of Vogue. Paris doesn’t have a street life. The street is Paris; life is the street. Last week, the street was death.

    The storied-girl, about to give birth, was nowhere near Paris. She sought shelter in Bethlehem. There were/are Syrian girls like her. Before my adopted, beloved cobblestones…cracked? My own country knew it could not promise refugees safe passage. However, if they survived tumultuous travel, Americans would make space: “Come, we have some room.”

    How to best honor the tragically departed remains an existential enigma. However, Parisians did what they do best on a Friday night: they walked their streets. For living the Parisian life, they died. Syrians are living the Syrian life now: fleeing for their survival upon roads anything but their own. They walk. They walk with swaddled babies. They walk with elderly women so infirmed that the most coveted fashion is one foot in front of the other. Last Thursday, Americans were making room for Syrians who cannot go home. A day later, all hearts made room for Parisian grief, horror, and shock. The heart, unlike borders, is infinite in its capacity. Too, too many Parisian walks home were aborted. Syrian walks to something, anything better than war, may well pay homage to those just lost if we, in heart and hearth, make more room.

  32. Roberta Denman says:    •   4 years

    How do I feel about the French tragedy? Saddened, of course. Mystified, certainly. Not only questioning why anyone would do this horrible thing, but also why would our Lord allow this to happen? Why was France chosen? I don’t think we Americans have ever recovered from questioning 9/11. Why us? Why those thousands of people? France was a wake-up call in another way as well. Just two months prior to that my daughter had been a tourist in Paris. I know two months is quite a time lapse, but it’s still scary. It shows everyone that we just never know when something will strike again. It may miss us, but there’s always that chance it won’t.

    We can’t make the bad guys turn into good guys. All we can do is try to be the better guys — okay, the best guys. We need to quit fighting each other, quit hating each other, quit the abuse, the betrayal, the pain and suffering. If you like someone or love someone, let them know every chance you get. You never know when it could be your last chance. If you don’t want to be around someone, why waste your time and theirs. Chances are they don’t much care for you either. That doesn’t make either of you “right” either, just different. Just spend your time with people you do care about. You’ll be happier and so will others.

    Most of all, remember this world is only on loan to us. We’ve already screwed it up. The best thing we can do now is try to take care of what’s left and get ready for the next world.

    Roberta Denman

  33. Carlos Lerma says:    •   4 years

    One would think that in times like these we as humans would unite and stand together. The dark truth is we don’t instead we argue amongst each other of what is right and what is wrong, while our enemy watches us slowly destroying and turning on each other. People are scared that they are gonna attack us but what we don’t realize is that we are already doing that to ourselves and sooner or later our world will be like one of those movies where it’s neighbor vs neighbor, brother vs brother. We need to put our differences aside and unite to figure out a solution because at the rate we are going we are doing the terrorists a favor by turning on each other.

  34. Nana says:    •   4 years

    “We have struggled enough” would be the title of the story I would write about what’s happening now in the world.

    We are constantly in war, and I don’t think that’s why we were put into this earth.

    Writing has become so difficult that I am used to a blank page by now.

    I am from Israel, and we live these tragedies every minute of every day. We are tired, and we know what the people in Paris are going through. Can we help? I hope so.

    Again I say, we have had enough, we have suffered enough.

    We have struggled enough.

  35. Nycolette Lartigue says:    •   4 years

    When I found out about the Paris Tragedy, which occurred November 13, 2015, I had just finished eating dinner and was sitting down to waste time watching television. I had no clue of what was going on in Paris until I happened to click on a news channel. “Terrorist attack kills 150+ people in Paris, France,” the headline read. Even then I wasn’t as affected as when I looked on WeHeartIt, a social media picture app, on my phone and saw multiple photos of the shutdown Eifel Tower. It was like everything had hit me all at once. “150 people innocent people died. This is real. And I can’t do anything about it.” I thought to myself. Suddenly, I began to cry. No, weep. I cried for the deaths of all of those innocents who had passed away. I especially cried for my ignorance. I don’t know why it was, but I just felt so guilty. How couldn’t I have known? Even though it sounds stupid and naïve, I also wondered if I could’ve prevented it in some way. Save them. I also felt angry. I mean, who does that to innocent human beings?! Since I was too young, four, when 9/11 happened, and I never really understood the Talaban v. U.S, this tragedy definitely made me see that we live in a crazy, messed up, murderous world. And I want to help. I just don’t know how without getting myself killed. Anyway, thanks for opening this topic. It feels good getting this off my chest…even if I still have conflicting thoughts 🙂

  36. Brack Whitley says:    •   4 years

    When the attacks in Paris occurred, I was heart-broken and angry. The only way to heal the past is to look to the future, so I wrote the following.

    Title: The Most Important Election of Your Life

    Well-known among those of you regularly read the things I write is the fact that I am a conservative in my way of thinking. Not far-right, but right of center. My beliefs are simple, we should let people alone in the matters of body, religion or not, marriage, food, pot, and have equal taxation for all.

    We should help those who cannot help themselves, help those in time of need, but that every able-bodied citizen should work to help pay for things the country needs. Without doubt we should only spend what we take in, because over-taxation is causing more of us to need help than really should need help.

    The term career-criminal, makes me sad. Those words scream at me that we as a society could do better. The fact that in our great country that opportunity to rise above fails so many. We waste so much money with failing programs accomplishing only to keep more dependent on a bureaucracy riddled with corruption, special interests, and career-politicians (not so unlike career-criminals as far as making me sad that they exist).

    In light of the recent attacks on Paris my mind has been trying to process this much like I did after 9-11. With the upcoming Presidential Election, I have been doing what I did back then. I have been going through every candidate and thinking who among them would I want to be the President if this had happened in this country. Despite our best efforts, it could again.

    This is what I came up with, Hillary Clinton—Can’t trust her. Bernie Sanders to old, and bat-shit crazy. Donald Trump is too full of Donald Trump, says the right things for the times we live in, with an occasional real answer, so I have to pass.

    Dr. Ben Carson says some great things, and some kind of weird things too, but I like him, and trust him, so I think he would be my second choice. Jeb Bush does absolutely nothing for me, and like Clinton we have had enough of dynasties.

    Marco Rubio out of them all has to be the choice. This war on terror as we are calling it is going to get worse before it gets better. I have watched this grow from the 70s’ and it is going to take a serious effort in many areas to make it stop.

    Rubio is young enough but old enough at the same time. He is a family man, a son of an immigrant, calm in manner, and intelligent enough to know when to put our military to work, and let them work.

    I am not telling you who is the best choice for you. Although I do hope you would take a minute and decide who you would want to be President if a terrorist attack takes place on American soil again. Vote, by all means vote, this maybe the most important election of your life. #JustSayin

  37. tinyiko says:    •   4 years

    peace

    peace where are you
    peace can you hear me
    peace are you even listing
    peace hear me out
    i dare you to listen
    my heart bleed anger
    my lungs pumps out blood

    peace are we at the beginning of the end
    or at the end of the beginning
    peace i shout unto you
    please help the world and help Paris

    PEACE
    peace please be with us
    peace i beg in the name of
    the King

    1. Nonjie says:    •   4 years

      It’s so heartbreaking it makes me happy. The empathy I bleed makes me grateful.

  38. chidinma says:    •   4 years

    Being a Nigerain,i understand how it feels,to hear of so much lives being lost because we have similar terrorist attacks from boko haram .To all those who lost a loved one,i understand the pain.But what keeps me strong is knowing that they are definitely going to be in a much better place.like Maya Angelo would say,all things happen for a reason

  39. Nnamdi Eseme says:    •   4 years

    For France, For Nigeria:

    The news shook the world of another deadly terrorist attack in France. It made me ask, what is the rationale behind all this killing? Is it just based on a religious philosophy? A way of creating a new state that thrives on violence or just some innate desire to always see people die in the most savage of conditions? These questions kept me awake for a few nights and I began to relate France to Nigeria. Was the attack an insight of things to come? Is it a message that France should be more cautious or was France just an easy target?
    Then I said to myself; it takes the spotlight away from Nigeria for a while. All attention is now focused on France: the sympathy, the prayers, and the condolences. So I joined in praying not just for France but for the world. Peace is a necessity if we must thrive. While I was busy with the world praying for France, the boko haram sect terrorizing Nigeria was busy planning to retake the spotlight from France. Just this week, they struck in the northern town of Yola, Adamawa state, Nigeria, killing over 30 and injuring over 80! My attention was drawn back to the security challenge in Nigeria and as if that was not enough, just yesterday (18/11/2015), they struck again in the northern city of Kano, killing many and injuring more! As a Nigerian, I am tense, anxious and full of fear. What is the world turning into? Who do I cry for? For France or for Nigeria? Or the next nation that will be attacked? These are questions to be answered. But while we pray, let us pray “for France, for Nigeria”, and for the world. We all need peace.

  40. Ayanda Dlula says:    •   4 years

    I am an African, I have reserved any comments about the attack of France. It is very difficult for an African to commit into such, under the circumstances that Africans had been through in the past. But as an opinionated person it’s against the principles of social interest and literature to be biased.
    If i may share my sentiments, it won’t be that of an African but of a being who’s affected by the shake of the world, with a heart that feels in a wake of struggle.
    A sin is to have eyes, see and not get touched by what you saw.
    Inhumanity is to have ears, hear the screams of the wounded and not personifies the tragic.
    Ignorance is when you think such occurrences can only happen from a distance, away from where you living and concludes as being safe… In saying that I personally refuse to be inhuman and ignorant.

    We are of the same God, differ by religions and beliefs, we eat, drink from the same soil and river that differ by location, our nations are divided by the same big oceans that God Almighty created from the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern to the Arctic Oceans, we wear the same fabric that is engineered by the same science from the west, the east, north and the south, we express ourselves through the sound of our tone, some through the language of God “sign language”, we all live and will die another day as the famous James Bond say. And right now a cloud is hanging over God’s creation in France, and in other worlds.

    The Lord is watching high up there, his Children slaughtering each other… My prayers are with the innocent civilians in France, the young and promising youth of France, the single women who strive so hard to carry their homes and find comfort in fear of the future while their husbands and sons will be out trying to protect their nation and pride…. Support!

  41. Andy says:    •   4 years

    We must answer the philosophical questions. We could point all sorts of fingers. Perish the thought that if a Christian dared to pull off something like this. What do you do in the face of such heavy opposition? Do we stand by and allow ourselves to be walked over? Do we show love to our fellow man? Yes definitely. Sydney felt the grief not so long ago. In that tragedy only two people died but it was still two too many. People have to deal with grief. Grief is what strikes at the soul and such attacks can weaken or strengthen ones resolve.

  42. Alita says:    •   4 years

    I got a knock at the door midnight Sunday. it was my daughter. She had allowed her mind to wander, her imagination run free with the events that had happened on Saturday. It scared her. It scared me too, prompting me to do the only thing that I knew I was capable to do; pray. On Saturday, while in the car with my husband, I mourned the loss of loved ones. Not my loved ones, but those who were loved, those whose lives were loss in these unnecessary events that took place. I cannot begin to fathom having to receive such a call, a knock at the door indicating confirmation of bad news being delivered. I cried. I told God that I was ready for him His kingdom to come, that he should come quickly like he promised. This is way too much. We live in Europe, so we’re close to tragedy. As expats, they have placed restrictions on where we can travel and where we cannot. I know my family in the states are concerned. They put on a good face via email or IM when I write them. I just started my blog and had a couple of friend request from people I’d never met. I deleted them. Didn’t want to take a chance . But in an effort to create a place where those who want to learn more about me can, I in turn, created a Facebook page. I hope it helps.

  43. Leena says:    •   4 years

    Such incidents raise the question about the core issues like why a certain group of people has been marginalized so as to become a terrorist organization? why UN and other International Human rights body have not been able to ensure peace in all different parts of the world? In the name of peace keeping forces, is it really necessary to meddle with other country’s affairs? Why should few privileged nations enjoy the limited resources on earth, whereas few other nations fight abject poverty all the time? Is there a bigger international game going on to see that the poor nations stay poor..? these are the bigger questions that need to be addressed. Until we inculcate the culture of compassion for all, bridging difference of all kind, such actions shall be very difficult to control. An eye for an eye shall eventually turn the whole world blind, do we want a blind dark future for our kids..?

  44. Barry Crofford says:    •   4 years

    I am lucky to have two homes! One in the rugged and beautiful landscape of North Wales and another in the warm, comfortable climate and very laid back coastal region of Southern France.
    I was in UK at the time of Friday’s attacks in Paris and saw it on the TV News reports, but I had booked an early flight back to France for the next day and of course did not know for sure if I would be prevented from making the journey as there was talk of France closing its borders for a while to prevent any perpetrators escaping!
    Like most other travellers, I thought during my subsequent journey to the airport just how problematic air travel had become in these past years. What had once been something to look forward to, had turned into an assault course of being shunted like a farm animal through narrow lanes of barriers in preparation to have baggage ex-rayed, perhaps opened and contents spread out for all to see. Pockets emptied and shoes and belts removed in the hope that the dreaded metal detector would not sound as one walked through the portal of electronics that gave entrance to the departure lounge where passengers could relax for a short time and perhaps actually enjoy paying outrageous prices for second rate food and drinks while waiting for instructions to board the aircraft.
    No matter how well travelled a person is, I think there is often a fleeting thought as the aircraft takes off that you may be heading into the last few minutes or hours of life. Not through fear of the aircraft crashing because of mechanical failure or pilot error, which is virtually unheard of in today’s world of technology that makes all machines safer and as reliable as possible, but through an act of terrorism. A bomb somehow hidden in the aircraft or a human being so radical and fanatic to even be willing to give his or her own life in the pursuit of causing death and misery to ordinary people who just want to live in peace and freedom.
    It crosses my mind that because of public outrage and the obvious need to bring an end to these acts of terrorism, perhaps it would be of use to give some of those who would be willing to do such heinous acts, the opportunity to explain what it is that makes them want to give up their own life to help build a path to the vision that they have for the world and indeed what that vision really is?
    Defeating an enemy that has absolutely no fear of death and even see matryrdom as a way to eternal happiness is not only difficult but perhaps impossible and it may be time to try and think ‘out of the box’ as they say in modern parlance to find a way forward if there indeed is one!
    None of the worlds religions, including Islam, encourage human beings to kill each other or conduct wars. What book are these people reading that makes them think it is right to cause death and misery?
    Perhaps! Just perhaps! The answer to stopping terrorism is in understanding, learning, teaching and helping those whose minds have been filled with hate to realise that acts of evil do not become good by believing they are done in the name of religion.
    Since the day Liela Khaled highjacked an Elal aircraft, air travel has gradually become more and more stressful.
    The worlds politicians are quick to say that terrorism must never win, but the fact is that it has won time and time again and whenever our lives are disrupted or affected by events related to security, fear or sadness in hearing of outrages like in Paris last Friday evening we have to try and think of how the actual causes of terrorism can be stopped!
    Unfortunately I am neither clever enough or learned enough to know the answer!
    Barry Crofford

  45. Odiah says:    •   4 years

    I strode silently behind my parents. The mid afternoon sun hovered glaringly, piercing rays of heat into our eyes. We were headed for the local market where mother sold freshly picked baskets of tomatoe and red peppers, and father stood by the road side waiting, with his wheel barrow, for someone with so much baggage to offer to pay for his services. He was a load pusher.
    I strode through the crowd of sellers and buyers with baskets of fresh vegetables stacked over each other. The deeper we went, the more loose I felt. My friends were nearby, and so were mother’s.
    Father turned into one of the densely populated corners where he met with his friends as they gingerly waited for customers.
    ‘Go well’, mother said in barely a whisper.
    In no time, we stood by the small stall with a small and crooked banner dangling from the top. It read ‘Mama Daudu’. That was her pride, me.
    ‘Daudu’, my two best friends yelled simultaneously, AbdulRahman and Eze. ‘Come and see what we found.’ They spoke in hausa.
    Happy as I was, I set the baskets on the rickety wooden table where my mother sa behind. I looked at her expectantly. ‘Go’, she said. ‘I will call you if I need you.’
    ‘Thank you.’ I took to my heels as my friends joined in. Together we ran to the edge of the market where they said they had found something.
    BOOM!
    The sound was so loud, I lost my balance. An endless static sound filled my eardrums as I struggled to regain my composure. Around me, a river of feet flooded the bare soil covered ground. I felt pain as the stampede grew wilder around me. ‘What is happening?’
    The static noise reduced insidiously and the screams and cries arose. Babies crying, women and children yelling and shouting. ‘HELP!’ ‘MY CHILD O!’ ‘MY LEG O!’ ‘ ‘BOMB!’ ‘BOKO HARAM HAS COME!’.
    Chaos had erupted around me, on me. Many marched over me as if I were their stepping stone. Mustering all the strength I had, I hit pushed through the spaces I could find till I found myself standing again. ‘Where are AbdulRahman and Eze?’
    ‘BOMB!’ I heard again. ‘BOKO HARAM!’
    I smelled smoke, above me was a grey cloud. A recess of what I considered evil, floating like a dark omen, over the
    market place. ‘My parents.’
    I raced towards the darkness, paying no attention to the screams that grew distant, or to the aroma of fried meat invading my nostrils, I ignored the smell of burned hair, or even the fact that the closer I got to mother’s stall, the denser the air became, and the more my heart ached.
    I tripped. It seemed to bring reality back to me, because I began to notice everything. The environment was darker, cooler and even on fire. Very different from how I noticed it a few minutes ago.
    ‘Mama!’ ‘Papa!’,I screamed as hard as I could.
    ‘What is this child doing here?’ a stern voiced trailed behind me. ‘Get him out of here!’
    I wanted to run. Run towards where my father had turned, the corner that now resembled hell. Fiery, and ashy. But I could not. Not because a firm had hooked my shoulders, or because I felt vulnerable, but because I could not feel my legs. They had only begun to hurt, signifying something was wrong down there. ‘MAMA! PAPA!’
    The firm hand rose me above the ground as we began to leave where I considered
    my life force to be. ‘MAMA! PAPA!’ My voice trailed off as I saw a burning banner in a pile of rubble. It read ‘-MA DAUD-‘. Bitter strings of tears escaped my eyes. ‘My friends, my family. Where are they?’
    I was reminded of what happened on my birthday, a few days ago. I had just turned nine, and that evening, on the radio, I heard some part of Paris had been attacked with many shot dead. I was confused. Now I understood.

    A fiction.
    I have no idea how it feels to be in their shoes, but one feeling i’m sure of is the nagging feeling that keeping pleading for me to do something to help. I wish I could join in the fight.–

  46. Iwundu Wisdom says:    •   4 years

    Calm Joy
    Flowing Music
    Red kisses
    Stoked promises

    Love exchanged
    Happy moments
    Glistening hope
    Brimming dreams

    Lights gone
    Devil’s angels
    Heartless eyes
    Roving guns

    Wild screams
    Surreal chase
    Broken grasps
    Sunken hope

    Bloody whimper
    Noisy silence
    Calm disbelief
    Hungry hate

    Retreating stars
    Withering flowers
    Love seperated
    Eternity redeemed

    Lasting silence
    Dark peace
    Unmoving eyes
    Frozen dreams

    Once with merry and love
    Now clad in furious grief and naked fear
    Promises of hope from above
    Alas, are now but whispers; blood everywhere.

    1. Nonjie says:    •   4 years

      lyrical genius. You’ve used your words wisely. To heel and ignited humanity.

  47. Akello Charlotte says:    •   4 years

    Its not yet over until we say so,
    Holding hands amidst the cries
    Lets not assume
    Today is France
    then Sudan
    then Nigeria

    It is the world
    Terrorists are not choosy
    They know no ties nor love
    They look at blood and smile
    let’s not assume
    That the France attack will be the end.

    #A call for us all to stand with FRANCE.

  48. sam chisnell says:    •   4 years

    im only 16 and my house is, too me, safe and even though this horror happened in a completely different country i still feel their pain and if there was anything i could do believe me it would have been done by now however all i can do is suport the people of paris and let them know that

    although i live in a,
    somewhat safe, trance
    one things for sure
    my heart is with france

  49. oscar says:    •   4 years

    If one wrong could, in fancy, counter work another or if two wrongs could make one right, then this world would probably have seem more good days than it has.
    However, reality shows that such is best left where it applies; arithmetic (Where negatives may give a positive outcome).
    A notion secretly or publicly held and cherished by many is that ‘the end justifies the means’. would a father’s desire to feed his famished children grant him right to rob another family in the neighborhood? or perharps,would a love smitten lad’s desire to please his possible mate grant him right to steal bars of chocolate? I once came across an inscription that had the words,”If you can’t do good to people, at least do no harm to them.” Simple, yet profound thought indeed. It brings out the value of human life without distinction as to class, caste ,race or any disposition or orientation.
    Last Friday was an interlude of horror, not only for France , yet only a drop in the many heinous acts of fellow ‘man’. Our greatest sympathies may not warrant us to project such an occurrence in the future. And rightly so because no one would love to live in constant fear and horror. Why would anyone take pleasure in such atrocities, even for a great ransom?We may never fully understand. Perhaps time will tell a better tale. Perhaps ignorance will save us greater pain. Yet our tears unite.
    Perhaps we need to appreciate our own lives to appreciate that of others.

  50. Brooke says:    •   4 years

    Paris

    I watched it on the news one day,
    A tragedy I couldn’t comprehend.
    I forced myself to soak it in.

    And though it seems worlds away
    Still I lift my hands and pray
    Because it could have been us
    It could’ve been me.

    We’re not so different anyway.
    Why does closeness make things more real?
    Distance distances sympathy.

    Still I lift my heart and pray
    We all must share the suffering.
    This attack was on us all.

    ~ Brooke

  51. james says:    •   4 years

    If you must kill me, please, leave my shadow breathing because it has walked with me everywhere I have stepped and I am convinced it can fulfill my moral obligation to contribute to the good of the world.

  52. Rodger lamb says:    •   4 years

    Always the Press mess it up. Always they convey the wrong message that incites more violence and panders to the reasons that excite perpetrators to do it again and bigger next time. Thanks to M_Jane above who got it right…And the world’s media, now reporting on the aftermath, have the audacity to refer to the perpetrator as a ‘mastermind’. This is not leading by example. A more apt description is sick, troubled, twisted and in need of the help that he could have had within his community.

  53. chideya waddell says:    •   4 years

    Hi Mathew,
    This is Chideya. when you sent me the email pertaining to the way i feel about the incident in Paris, I was inspired to tell you about some of the foolish comments Americans like ourselves are sharing on social media. Some of the profanity that was used was even more sickening and to know that when our country was struggling, these same person some of whom we may be acquainted with were standing firm and supporting us in every way possible. I am at a lost for words on my personal feelings since I do know how helpless and hopeless they must be after losing so much. I do hope they are able to get back on their feet and I’m supporting their efforts in every way possible.
    Hope is all we can give along with support and a helping hand.
    Chideya

  54. rehema bashir says:    •   4 years

    for all the tragedies we people around the world are facing right now, from Europe to Asia to America to Africa, i keep telling myself everyday that just because i am a nice person i should not expect people to be nice to me, just because i do not have thoughts of killing anyone does not mean someone does not have thoughts of killing me or killing other people. apparently we live with cruel people around us, who do not value a human life, to them killing a human being is as fun and easy as drinking water. but then again i keep asking myself what can i do? how can i save people? a life? just one person? so i pray. i look up in the sky and remember that God is watching, and all people will be held accountable for their actions. this brings me closure, i can not solve all the problems in the world even if i tried, so i will just pray and put my worries in the hands of the highest power to fight the battles for us.

  55. Fatima says:    •   4 years

    Any sudden death is always tragic. It’s more tragic and fuels anger when it is unnecessary and violent. When you really sit back and think about it, place yourself in that situation, that it could’ve been you, that’s when you realise how big a deal it is.

    As a Muslim myself, I feel the need to express my sympathy for those affected by these events. More than that though I feel the need to explain that ISIS or ISIL or Boko-Haram or any other name they give themselves, is in no way at all Islamic or in line with the teachings of Islam. These are misguided people who act directly against all the basic principles of peace, love and unity that we are guided by. They do not represent true Muslims and are giving us all a bad rep!

    I am from South Africa and what I see the media reporting on is astounding. There are so many other countries suffering so much trauma, heartache, inequality (including my own) and none of which invokes as much publicity as these attacks have. There is much suffering the world over, on a daily basis but those go unnoticed because, well, it’s ongoing.

    All we need is to unite, all of us, against all of this otherwise these terrorist factions are winning – it’s what they want – because the violence begets more violence and the killings go on and on.

    Pray for peace, pray for tolerance and pray for humanity!

  56. Phyllis H. Moore says:    •   4 years

    You had me at Flannery O’Connor. Words are what we do and they carry with them thoughts. Those thoughts and words have energy, spirit, grace. They also carry confusion, anger, vengeance. I cannot say what the answer to violence is, but I know it cannot be more violence, bitterness and hateful words. Those words, even from someone abhorring violence, carry the same negative energy, the same. We cannot filter, sieve or funnel it out. It is there, clinging, and it does not matter that it is wrapped in another flag or prayer.

    We are one, all of us, and we can change the energy of the world, the universe, with our words and other symbols. I watched the video posted, that so many others watched, a young father with his son and a reporter. It began with talk of guns, violence and fear, but the child’s demeanor was changed by his father’s words and his reference to the flowers and candles off screen. A calm presence transformed the scene and the hope was written across the child’s face. I wish everyone could have that father and all people could have that child’s hope. Peace.

  57. Renee Mashala says:    •   4 years

    I have no words to describe how i feel.I can not say i understand their pain because i don’t . All i can is that the world has become a fearful place to live in because we do not know what will happen tomorrow. We can only trust in God.I sympathize with them and encourage them that what ever happens it should not move them nor paralyze their faith.God is alive. Thank you

  58. Kezia says:    •   4 years

    People gunned down coldly
    Hearts broken by mobs
    Parades scattered like swarms of flying ants
    Transits stopped by sudden breaks
    Lots of beautiful bubbles burst
    Broken mirrors shattered
    Shattered into tiny pieces

    Time and tide fought to be backwarded
    Maybe this could have been averted…
    But No, the deed has been done
    Heads and tails have met for tea
    Tea as red as crimson

    Terrorists Armed with arsenals
    Came on the people like rapture
    Their Eyes pop in disbelief
    only to never close again
    Or rather,
    Only to open in the land beyond

    The climax of inhumanity:
    People killing people unhesitantly.
    When will the killings stop?
    When will the bloodshed stop?
    When?

    We pray for Nigeria
    We pray for Paris
    We pray for the world
    God keep us alive
    Alive in Peace
    Now and evermore. Amen

  59. Sarah says:    •   4 years

    “Lord, what fools these mortals be”
    Walk here, stand there
    Practice
    April 15, 2013

    Freshman, backstage
    Rehearsal, Dark
    John, news
    Silence

    Where are my friends?
    Sisters? Brothers?

    Middleschoolers
    Families, Friends
    Teachers
    April 15, 2013.

    Names: Tsarnaev,
    Boston
    Sandy Hook
    Aurora, CO
    Columbine

    Tragedy.

    Driving, Singing
    Peaceful, Calm
    November 13, 2015

    Names: Paris.

    How do we move on?
    How do we continue?
    How do we fight?
    How do we live?

    Two Words:
    Boston Strong…
    Three Words:
    Pray for Paris.

    We can move on
    We can continue
    We can fight.

    We will live.
    Together.

    Tragedy
    May hit us.
    But we do not fear.
    We will fight on,
    Fight for freedom.

    For Paris,
    For Boston
    For Sandy Hook
    For Humanity
    We fight as one.

    We live on
    As one.

  60. Steve says:    •   4 years

    As others have already said, Paris was just one place that has endured another sickening, heart wrenching and awful tragedy carried out by gullible cowards who are weak in mind and in body. Society’s rejects and criminals who clearly have a degree of mental illness and who are often brainwashed and high on drugs. Easy targets for those who are safe in their ivory towers drinking wine and living in luxury.

    Let’s not give these criminals any more credence by slapping an ISIS, ISIL, Islam, Muslim or any badge upon them.

    The people who inflict these atrocities are nothing more than criminals who are weak, gullible and who are controlled by those fanatics who care little for them as they do for the innocent that they are recruited to kill.

    The world is becoming sick and tired of any religion or ancient and totally outdated ideals and beliefs being used as a reason or excuse for the atrocities that we routinely see around the world and often in the name of a better or higher being or sick and inhuman ideology. Utter nonsense that needs to be stamped out across the world.

    We need world leaders to pull their heads from out of their backsides and admit and accept that the gods and the prophets that are followed are unreal. Just imaginary escapism.

    There are no higher beings. No gods. No heaven or hell. The world has been duped for centuries and continues to be so. Science doesn’t support any of it so why are we continuing to cow to it and allow it to be used as an excuse?

    Time for the world to stand up and accept that religion and those gods that are followed simply don’t or never existed, other than as a form of escapism. We would be better for it.

    Religion and these implausible beliefs have a great deal to answer for over our limited time on this planet and unless we stop accepting that these are real then we will continue to have these issues in the name of them.

    Those who inflict these horrors are fully aware that they are doing so as criminals. Treat them as such and stop portraying them as martyrs with a real belief because we know as sane people this to be false.

  61. Safiyah says:    •   4 years

    What happened it Paris is absolutely disgusting.

    No innocent souls should have to be taken this way and the actions of ISIS have horrified us internationally.

    However among all the mixed feelings and upset we must remember to remain calm. ISIS make up 0.003% of the muslim population and 2% of all terrorists attacks done in the world per year. Innocent muslim children, parents, etc are being blamed for actions less than 1% of so called “muslims” have committed (in islam murder is strictly haram and so is suicide, rape, etc.). I didn’t think it was that big of a problem until recently on the London underground a muslim women was pushed onto an on going train by a white christian male. No personal issues, she had done no wrong, yet her life and the life of 1.6 billion other’s are at risk. We mourn for the lives of the murdered innocent souls but let is not ruin other innocent souls out of blinded anger and unreasonable hate.

    Thank you and may God protect Paris and the world.

  62. Ila Varma says:    •   4 years

    Wave of Terror

    Heart Anguished,
    Visions Blurred,
    Throats Parched,
    Voices Lost,
    Minds Dumb,

    Watching People
    Howling,
    Writhing& Succumbing,
    Lying in Pool of Blood,
    In the Wave of Terror.

    Terror Engulfed,
    Lives in Hundreds,
    Instilling Deep Seated Fear,
    In the Innocent Minds,
    Of Millions.
    Speechless & Numb,
    I Pray to God,
    It’s Time for You
    To Descend
    To Stop Atrocities
    Against Humanity
    Defending
    The Beautiful Creation
    Exquisite Nature.
    Amen!
    © Ila Varma 14/11/2015

    Link to the post: http://varmaila.blogspot.in/2015/11/wave-of-terror.html

  63. Ila Varma says:    •   4 years

    Attacks On Humanity Again!!!
    Handful of Atheists,
    Whose minds are plagued,
    With hatred & cruelty.
    Believes in savage,
    Quenches thirst,
    By shedding blood
    Plundering innocent eyes
    Robbing million smiles.
    Terror has no religion
    No caste n creed
    No racial discrimination.
    Mere handful of people
    Whose minds are cured
    Distilled & Instilled
    With Brutal woes
    Spreading call
    Against humanity.
    Laced with arms
    They plunge in groups
    With an Aim
    Shooting down the lives
    With brutality.
    Ammunitions fires
    Bombs explode
    Soaking blood
    Dispersing the crowd
    Fears & Howls
    Screams & Screeches
    In nanoseconds
    Fills the crowd.
    These heartless Atheists
    Laugh out loud
    Whose souls have worn out
    Unperturbed by
    The commotion
    They stirred.
    Lives stranded
    Lying in heaps
    Blood splattered
    In every corner.
    The eyes that watched
    The disaster
    People succumbing
    Is completely terrorized
    Seething fears
    In the crevices of mind.
    Darkness enveloped
    The city & the streets
    The minds are blocked
    Their Dreams smeared with blood.
    We are growing
    By leaps & bounds
    Achieved new feats
    Discovering Mars & Moon
    Connecting the whole world
    In a Fist.
    Still
    The fear of Terror
    Eclipses
    The peace of mind.
    Mere few cowards
    Has spread its wings
    Of barbarism
    Clutching & Clawing
    The lives of many
    Spilling blood & cries of humanity.
    Come on,
    Now,
    It’s the Right Time
    To
    Unite for a common cause
    Of humanity.
    Uprooting
    The roots of Terror
    Clasping the World
    Growing & Spreading
    Faking In the name of
    Religion.
    All Religious Gurus
    Jesus or Mohammad
    Wahe Guru or Ram
    All Strive for Humanity,
    Spiritualism & Brotherhood
    Condemning the acts of
    Barbarism.
    © Ila Varma 14/11/2015
    (Terror Attacks in Paris on 14.11.2015)

    Link to the post: https://thoughtsuncoveredblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/attacks-on-humanity-again-2/

  64. Chic Stinson says:    •   4 years

    Even though I have never been there, Paris, France has loomed large in my imagination for as long as I can remember. Whether it was Nat King Cole telling us why he loved Paris or the musical lament of “. . . how you gonna keep them down on the farm. . ,” the City of Lights evoked romance, mystery, magic, and beauty. When I was studying Architecture, Notre Dame de Paris was as fascinating structurally as it was beautiful. I am sure that Paris, like any large metropolitan center, has its warts and the reputation of Frenchmen as unfriendly may have some basis in fact, but Paris was always an idea or better an ideal of sophisticated casualness. Adolf Hitler, when faced with losing the city to the Allies, ordered it burned behaving more like a rejected suitor than a defeated conqueror. Now Paris has been targeted by a new brand of fascist – Islamofascists. Why? Because the French government has the temerity to fight back against their fanatical nihilism. These self-proclaimed soldiers of Allah want to destroy because they are incapable of creating. They want to frighten because they cannot persuade. They want to cover the city of lights in a gray shroud of fear and death because they, like the cockroaches that they are, are adverse to the light. They call the horrors they commit jihad or holy war and believe they will be rewarded with earthly pleasures in Heaven, but, if Allah is indeed the one true God, I suspect he will take a dim view of one part of his creation killing another in his name.
    Paris is the perfect analogy for this conflict, the City of Lights against the suffocating blackness of ISIL’s flag and the putrid ideology it represents.

  65. Anika Madison says:    •   4 years

    The tragedies in Paris are a part of a horrific series of events that are a plaguing our nations. The evil minds that dare to unleash terror, destruction and death on innocent people are seeking more than just a way to deliver their messages. They seek total inhalation of anyone opposing their views and want to destroy any semblance of love to insert total hate. If you watch what happens after each tragic even, you will see that just the opposite occurs.

    The outpouring of love and support overshadow the evil and hate that was used with the intent to irrevocably damage the intended target. You see it time and time again. The destruction that was unleashed will never be forgotten, but those acts will never dampen the spirit of those left behind.

    The survivors and those that support them, come together in love. Each time we see these horrors played out on the news, beauty shines through the ugliness and captivates our hearts. Love comes in many forms and it has been displayed beautifully in Paris even in the face of such hatred.

    I will never understand that level of hate, but I will always be amazed by the love.
    Continued love and prayers go out to the people of Paris.

  66. Joy W says:    •   4 years

    Viva La France

    We are all French.
    And I think that, for at least today
    Blue, white and red are the colors of my own flag as well
    This isn’t my country but I’m paralyzed all the same
    Dead.
    “At least 127” they had said and counting was their last word
    “At least 40” they had said
    “At least ten” they had said
    They flashed across my screen making it impossible to even breathe
    I heard shots ring out today.

    I heard shots ring out today.
    they flashed across my screen, making it impossible to even breathe.
    “At least ten” they had said
    “At least 40” they had said
    “At least 127” they had said and counting was their last word
    Dead.
    This isn’t my country but I’m paralyzed all the same
    Blue, white and red are the colors of my own flag as well
    And I think that, for at least today
    We are all French.

  67. Emily says:    •   4 years

    This is my reaction to Paris, among other tragedies. I’m learning about myself, how broken this world is, and how good God is. The upcoming election is the first one I can vote in, and this is me asking myself what do I want, what do I think, what do I believe?

    How do I grown up?

    I text my sister when I’ve finally done my dishes or driven myself to the store and brag about how adult I feel
    Ten dollars I worked my ass off to make myself feels better than a hundred dollars my parents hand to me
    not because I feel ungrateful but because I’m trying to feel independent
    I am exhilarated in a classroom full of intelligent, insecure, hilarious, reckless teenagers but I struggle because I sometimes still see myself as one of them and not as the great teacher I’m striving to be

    I am trying so hard to be a grown up
    All I want is to get my feet underneath me
    To stand on my own two feet
    Somedays I feel like I’m rocking that
    These rainbow shoes are pointed on the right path
    I’m learning even in my mistakes
    But some days I fall on my face

    To understand right and wrong I know I should look to Logos–the simultaneous speech, thought, and action of the Creator of the Universe and loving Rescuer of humanity

    But I turn and I turn and I find myself turning instead to logos, and buzzwords, and catchphrases, and I feel like I’m constantly misinformed, unaware, confused about something going on somewhere and I can’t find anyone with the answer

    But I’m searching and searching for justice and empathy and compassion and honesty and sunshine and the ultimate inherent goodness that I know to exist

    But I turn and I turn around and I turn away and sometimes all I can find is sinners and snakes and sickness and conflict and cynics and skeptics

    I’m sorry and I’m embarrassed that I can’t say all of these “s”
    because you can’t say what you can’t hear and four cases of strep throat killed my hearing the summer I was seven
    Ugh there are more “S” in this verse

    Sometimes I can’t even hear the sound of my own voice

  68. Jasmine Freeman says:    •   4 years

    Terrifying as it may seem seeing our long time Allie,France, being bombed at at time like this. What can you say? The world in the Southeast and Europe are in an act of terrorism and possible another war. We stare in shock but our government not doing as much as it needs to to help out. We’re not neutral, far from it.If France is known for the city of love then why hate tear down them down and cowardly hide from the enemy?

  69. Brandi says:    •   4 years

    We live in a world where we are not free…our rights are slowly being taken from us. France is a gun free place and yet they were shot…if they were allowed to have guns then maybe so many people wouldn’t have died. ISIS is coming for us, I feel for the children and the mothers that are being told they can’t come into our country but as for the men (army) that OBAMA is letting in I pray that they know what is coming for them.

    I live in a state where we all carry a pistol on us, we have guns above our front door and in our night stands. I will be using my 2nd amendment if I have to. I have a 2 year old child, he is innocent. He smiles at the sight of food, he laughs at his farts, and he dances in the rain. How is it that I have to fear for his and my life when we go to the store?

    The news is saying DO NOT go black Friday shopping or go anywhere with a lot of people because ISIS may be there. Why is our leader allowing them to come into our country? It is not a Muslim thing, it has nothing to do with religion these men want to kill us!!!!!!!

  70. Kirk Smeeton says:    •   4 years

    What a terrible loss of life. The pain and heartbreak will live on in the lives of these victims loved ones, long after the rest of the world has forgotten them. Because that is what we do, we forget.
    We forget the atrocities, wars, torture, and genocides that are occurring daily in our world among Christians and non- Christian alike. We forget the children of this world, who have been abandoned by those who supposed to protect them, but most of all we forget the one who hung from a cross, beaten beyond recognition. Suffering depths of pain and humiliation that most of us will never endure. And when He looked upon the ones responsible for putting Him on that cross, He said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    I have no hope for this world, I have no hope in Government, or man kinds ability to change himself, by himself. But I have hope in Him. Jesus

  71. Black says:    •   4 years

    The thing about goodness is, it had the tendency to be so subtle that it seems passive.
    Whiles evil has a trumpet that bellows the world to it wake.
    When a hungry underdog steals from the middle-class, that’s sin that leads to hell.
    But when deluded egoists extinguish innocent lives, that’s sin that comes from hell.

    Yet come hell or high waters: we remain unflinching in the face of evil
    For one day, the tempest of Evil will drown in the raging silence of Good
    “All that is essential for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”
    But what can good men do when goodness seems so weak?

    There are the faces evil shows us, and there are the real faces behind these facades
    How do you obliterate the virus without the cell?
    Sometimes, all we can do is hope, when we’re in bed with the enemy,
    That the virtues we embrace, ultimately, defeat the vices that encroach us.

  72. Rita Lorraine says:    •   4 years

    Hi Matthew,
    Thanks for this opportunity.

    Like everyone else, I was shocked and saddened by what happened to those innocent people in France. I pray for them and, like many in this thread have mentioned, I also pray for those who have had similar experiences in other countries. But I must admit it’s not France that takes up all my thoughts. For some reasons, since the moment the news broke about the killings, my mind has been hovering on the children. Not just the children of France, mind you, but ALL the children of this so-called Information Age. The world must often seem like a dark, unpredictable and even sinister place to them. My heart weeps for their innocence.

    1. DeAndra says:    •   4 years

      I think the same. It seems as if they live in a world of hate and a lot of anguish, confusion and pain. Because of that we must love on our children, literally love them to life.

  73. Courtney Hopkins says:    •   4 years

    When the war comes
    When the war comes bombs will sound natural as thunder
    When the war comes tears will be the new rain
    When the war comes lives will be shattered
    When the war comes death will be the new beginning of life
    When the war comes killing will be easy as breathing
    When the war comes we will be breathing in ashes of new found freedom
    When the war comes the world will be flooded with sorrow
    When the war comes we will be fearless or cowards
    When the war comes tell you family your final goodbyes
    When the war comes rise up and make them fall
    For only you have the strength to fight for what you think is right. Regardless of the government, religion, peers, or even family.

  74. Lee-Anne says:    •   4 years

    I feel so many many emotions I hardly know what to say. I am angry. I am sad. I am disgusted and appalled. I love the city of Paris. I remember the people who made me feel welcome. Despite my clumsy French.

    I cannot believe people who sought shelter and refuge would turn on the country that is their host. Where is their is their gratitude to those that opened their doors? It makes me question if our compassion is worth the risk.

    I remind myself that the haters are a minority. But look at the damage they have done. A dark shadow is cast across us all. Lives are wasted and innocence lost.

    Rational minds are poisoned. Insanity spreads. Religion is now the root of evil rather than a balm for the soul. Where will this crazy political game end?

  75. Taha Akbar says:    •   4 years

    Hi Matthew,
    i have written this speech and expressed my thoughts about the Paris Tragedy that took place last Friday. i hope this you inspire everyone.
    ————————————————————————————————————————-
    “L’horreur a paris”, “Barbaric”, “Massacred in Minutes”, “Terror-Kreig”, “Carnages A Paris”, “la guerre en plein paris.” These were the headlines that ruled the front pages of the world’s newspaper and magazines. An attack which left the crowded streets of Paris isolated. A carnage never experienced before by France since the World War II leaving 129 dead and numerous injured. An attack which made the city of light experience the depths of darkness. Yes, this was a ‘Black Friday’ for Paris where 8 armed men shook the whole city by opening fire on innocent civilians and bombing themselves at 6 distinctive places.
    What can you call this? Bravery of those 8 men? A fight against aggression? No! This is brutality and in fact cowardliness. Why did they just attack unarmed men? The answer is simple, because they were afraid of facing the saviors of the country, because they feared of the world’s 17th elite force. This wasn’t the only attack that marked the label of “Cowards” on terrorists.
    On 16th December 2014 there was an attack on Army Public School, Peshawar in Pakistan where 7 gunmen massacred 132 children. The attacks on Palestine cannot be ignored where the city of Gaza was reduced to rubble by mass-scale bombing. The tragedy of September 11 attacks popularly known as 9/11 in America is still in the minds of people where 2996 people became victims of a terrorist attack on World Trade Centre. These are just some of the cases of brutality ever recorded, scroll down the pages of history and you will find many more barbaric, heart shattering incidents like this.
    The question here arises that why do only civilians suffer? Are there only civilians and security forces left in this world to be slaughtered? What is our fault in it? We become a victim of the politics of so-called rulers sitting on top controlling ‘our’ country. We give vote of confidence to our favorite leader because we have the hope that this person has courage to revolutionize our country, to remove poverty, to ensure law and order, to help our country not only survive but also to flourish. But these so called ‘leaders’, that we give our trust, our hopes and our dreams to, end up becoming the very cause of our demise.
    Now, every heart, every person is crying, pouring their tears of hopelessness after this butchery. But, for how long? For a few days? For a month? For a year? Very soon we will forget all of this. The greatest thing that would be done would be declaring a national holiday every year on 13th November or holding parades in memory of the deceased. But, this could not revive our loved ones who had been slain by these cruel heartless killers, who are a blot on the very face of mankind!
    We civilians have to take serious step against these mass murders. ‘We’ have to wake the ‘human’ inside us. Today, we are not real humans, we are machines, emotionless machines. We have to unite against these merciless animals and make the terrorists realize that any act of bloodshed would not be forgotten but that they will have to pay for this!
    A person living in France is a French, one living in America is an American, one living in Pakistan is a Pakistani, one living in China is a Chinese, one living in Africa is an African but we all are same under the skin. We have to rise up and tell those terrorists that we are not afraid of them rather we are ready to give our lives for saving our future generations against this inhumanity. JE SUIS PARIS!
    ————————————————————————————————————————-

  76. DeAndra says:    •   4 years

    When I first heard about the attacks in Paris, I thought, oh wow not another terrorist attack. But as I began seeing the images on the news, a pregnant women dangling from a building, restaurant goers scrambling to hit the ground and running for their lives, it put a different view on how quickly life can change. It brought back a flood of memories on how my own child was shot in the head, when the house he was in was shot up. It made me question how do we really value life. I can wake up and start my day with no more of care than how I shall cloth myself so I want be a public disgrace, to only worry hours later how will I bury a love one. I know that had to be a thought to at least one surviving love one……

    I say to you all reading this post. If you have, a grievance against your brother, sister, mother, father, friend or foe…..FIX IT…you never know when that sip of coffee, that smile, or that laugh could be their last….hug now, squeeze tight, and pray that the bed bugs don’t bite……

  77. Nwakanma victor says:    •   4 years

    What did Paris do?

    Dat she cry all day

    Some packs of creepy wolves

    Pounced so swiftly

    Right in the brightness of the busy day

    In the midst of that beautiful manger

    They took her unaware

    They robbed her of her sheep

    And didn’t spare even little a lamb

    If only they had a reason

    What did Paris do?

    What did Paris do?

    That darkness crept so soon

    And the sun lose It’s brightness

    That the shadows of sorrow

    masked the innocent laughters

    That had filled the morning air

    Now Paris is in pain

    What did paris do?

  78. Jodie Masteller says:    •   4 years

    To all,
    Some of us want to hold onto the anger and frustration that we feel when things like this happen. The problem is, holding into this emotion just causes more anger and frustration. Our lives are lived in order to please God. We do not get to choose, if we want to follow Christ then we must forgive. The whole problem seems that to be about religion and the idea behind it. Personally, I believe that any religion that preaches hatred instead of love cannot be from God and does not follow Jesus’ teachings. We are to love and respect our neighbors, not hate them because they are a different religion. Just as we have different sounds in an orchestra, we have different religions speaking to God. Together and separately they can glorify Him. Our hatred of all persons of any religion stops the teachings of Christ. Just as he loved the Samaritans, we should practice that same type of love. We cannot judge all, we cannot judge a few, we can only ask God to protect us and spread his umbrella over us that we are protected in this time of terror. May God Bless all who call upon His name.

  79. Christine says:    •   4 years

    We look for Peace and find Hate…

    We look for Peace and find Death…

    We look for Leadership and find Rhetoric…

    This has been a very difficult week for me. I am a teacher and I lost a bright shining star in the attack on the World Trade Center. He worked on the 102 floor…nothing left of him. Right now I have another former student in France attending the University in Paris. Because he is an outgoing American and it was an American band in concert, i was so concerned that he might be at the concert. Fortunately he was not, but my communications with him have shown me how sad and disheartened he is and how afraid he was during the attacks and the following raids, and when is it going to stop? So sad. So very very sad.

  80. Eric says:    •   4 years

    Matthew,
    Thank you so much for initiating this tribute to the victims of the Paris atrocities. I read several of the contributions already and was touched by peoples’ support and empathy. Writing is indeed therapeutic and healing. Peace to us all.
    Eric

  81. Deb Palmer says:    •   4 years

    Mathew
    Thank you for encouraging us all to write through our feelings on the Paris attacks. Until I read your post, I had decided not to post the blog I’d prepared for this week. It seemed trite along side this tragedy. When I read your request, I put my thoughts to the keyboard. It was a healing process. I thank you for that. http://debpalmerauthor.com/2015/11/20/gruesome-fairy-tales-lore-reality-todays-children-e-g-paris-attacks/

  82. Ron Austin says:    •   4 years

    THOUGHTS ON TERRORISM
    You need to know where this is coming from. I’ll start by telling you about me.
    I meditate a lot, spend hours each day reading, love dogs and love being alone in the mountains.
    That’s enough. An introverted, bookish Buddhist who loves animals and solitude.
    Part of my view of life is to forgive those who have hurt us whenever we can.
    When bad things happen we don’t run around screaming. We impose a calm on ourselves. We take of funerals or have the car fixed or whatever is required and then we grieve or get angry. But first, we take care of business.
    Inhuman monsters have once again killed our people. We need to impose a calm on ourselves and take care of business. To be angry or to grieve now makes us inefficient. Do it later.
    And we must forgive the monsters when we can. Let’s do it long after their flesh has rotted from their bones and the massacre in Paris has become history rather than news. Then we can forgive them.
    MAYBE!
    (from Ron Austin)

  83. Johnson John says:    •   4 years

    Poem
    Time to Kill Serpents

    Unleashed from some savage source
    Clad in out-worn middle age creed
    The serpents roam
    Sometimes in New York, sometimes in Mumbai,
    London or Paris-sporadic outbreak.
    No sharp horns on their empty head
    No tails with piecing arrow mark
    Revealing their identity
    But they cover adeptly their lethal fangs
    By soft hisses
    They worship a god
    (With hypocritical fasting and prayer)
    That prefers warm blood to cool champagne
    That devours human flesh, not cakes!
    The serpents are really cowards
    Not dare enough to face life
    But vile to kill and die.
    Like stray mad dogs
    Sure to fall but sicken a few
    Ere their inevitable destiny.

    O French people, you’ve the will
    -Strong, unyielding, and enduring
    As the puddle iron of the Eiffel Tower
    That touches the sky
    The great land of Laplace, Hugo, Dumas
    And many a great other men of wisdom,
    I believe, would never falter
    By such hollow snakes
    Instead, should rise up
    And uproot the source

    Joy increases and grief decreases by sharing
    O French brothers and sisters,
    We once shared your joy,
    Football and literature,
    And now your sorrow;
    We’re with you!

    By Johnson John, Kerala, India

  84. Hloni says:    •   4 years

    Thank you Matt for this opportunity

    The World Today

    the world has always been free and innocent
    what is it that is happening to this innocent beautiful world
    how can the world be violent, cruel and such bitter
    if we all of the same kind we brothers n sisters.
    peace disappeared forever in our painted black hearts
    in the tunnel where at the end the light is dull unhappy

    what is it that is really happening in this world
    we turned daylight monsters predators assassinates
    against our self against human kind
    while we can stand firm n tall together
    trying to fight miseries and saddening
    of such appalling worlds misery occurring

    am puzzled forever of this evilness
    planes go missing, places are bombing
    cruel man on the rise slaughtering innocent souls
    Paris getting attacked and bombed
    young ones, loved ones as they innocently died
    others traumatized, critically injured and hospitalized
    what shortened lives of Innocent souls
    hard work of heartless vicious men

    lord please forgive them for what they do
    please forgive them for what they don’t know
    is it money, hate, anger, greed or act of power
    for this happenings, such recent Paris genocide
    or just another man plan of taking over this place
    Lord have mercy upon us, upon this world
    cast thy love, thy peace unto this world
    and those caught in the chase
    may their innocent souls find a better place.

    Hloni;
    twitter:Hloni_Mann
    instagram:hloni_x_stann

  85. Daleen says:    •   4 years

    We have to believe that this world – our home – is worth saving. Terror reigns outside our doors, it seeps through our borders, but all I can say, is cling on to the good that’s left. My heart goes out sincerely to everyone affected by the atrocious miseries that have marked our time. A single candle in a dark room will never truly know how much it’s light means, until someone comes in and needs to see.

    A Poem, dedicated to everyone affected by these horrific nightmares that have become reality.

    “Dawn of Light”

    When the hour of dark draws nigh
    Damn the ears that hear the people cry
    And those souls that stand in mischievous ownership
    Saying proudly “That was I.”

    Doom your broken-minded, erring ways
    Cowards in suffering seeking praise
    Wicked souls that proclaim doom
    They see no hope in our days

    Break our bones but this you’ll know
    You will never destroy love, it is our home
    Earth’s inhabitants now unite
    For it’s time they reap what they’ve sown

    We wait for you oh Dawn of Light
    Warm our hearts and teach us right
    Lest it is forgotten, how precious,
    That in our unity, there is might.

    __________________________________

    Dear Earth,
    I thought you should know,
    Some people here still think
    You’re worth fighting for.

  86. Bailey Moreton says:    •   4 years

    Two days after the horrific attacks in Paris, reality is a death toll so far is totaling 132, with hundreds more injured. This is one of the worst terrorist attacks on a Western country of recent times, and the death toll will continue to rise as time passes. IS (Islamic State) have claimed responsibility, further angering countries around the world against this terrible group of jihadists. This attack could also have a knock down affect on the War in Syria against IS, and the refugee crisis of the same country. The Paris tragedy may well yet be the beginnings of greater problems for the world.
    Radicals
    Francois Hollande, early Saturday at a press conference, had already identified IS as the perpetrator of the attacks before the group claimed responsibility for them. In his speech he said:
    “For all those who’ve seen these atrocities, rest assured — we want to say that we will bring the fight against terrorism and will be without pity because when terrorists are capable of such atrocities, it will certainly be faced with a determined France, a united France.”
    The attackers were split into 3 groups and men of various nationalities. 3 of the 7 suicide bombers which attacked at various Paris locations were French, 2 of these men were French nationals who were residents of Brussels in neighboring Belgium. T
    he family of one of these men, Omar Ismaïl Mostefai, is being questioned for information on any extremist connections he may have. At least one of the suicide bombers was Syrian, a Syrian passport being found near the site where a body had blown up. 3 brothers were also part of the group of attackers with one of the brothers, Abdeslam Salah still at large. Police have urged the public not to approach him, as he is “dangerous.”
    Response
    Around the globe, candle light vigils pay testament to those who have been lost. Throughout all these events, the message is one of unity, and the importance of remaining strong and supporting France but also remembering those who have been lost.
    Reports via the Guardian have stated that Washington has said they will step up their airstrikes in Syria, as will France. Canada’s PM Trudeau has stated he will carry through the plan to remove Canada’s 6 F-16s from the Syrian airstrikes, but is planning on adding more military trainers in addition to the 70 that are already assisting Kurdsih forces. British PM David Ameron has warned an attacks against Britain is “increasingly certain,” but it is unclear what Britain’s response to this military action will be. It will be ingesting to see how Russia plans to respond to this, Putin’s previous airstrikes having targeted rebel groups fighting against President Assad opposed to IS targets. With the G20 summit around the corner in Turkey, the Paris attacks and future threats of terrorist attacks are guaranteed to be on the agenda.
    Refugees
    With Greek authorities confirming one of the attackers had Syrian and Egyptian passports, raising concerns about IS fighters disguising themselves as refugees in order to attack western countries. These attacks couldn’t have come at a worst time in terms of the refugee crisis, with many countries like the UK and Canada already pledging to take only a small amount of refugees. These decisions have caused some serious argument amongst some citizens, and the events in Paris will only seek to heighten these fears. However, in a sign of solid leadership in times, Francois Hollande has made a stand against these kinds of debates.
    The Paris attacks were a horrific tragedy, which has captured the world’s attention. However, whatever the response will be, it should be measured, specifically targeted against IS and not call into question the freedom of innocent people. The world’s leaders have a duty to not act rashly, and not act with prejudice. But above all else we all have a duty, to pray for Paris.

  87. EJ says:    •   4 years

    Peace knows no race, color, or creed it just wants its proper place to touch hardened hearts

  88. Lindsay says:    •   4 years

    Hate.

    We swallow it, wallow it, forsake it, nurture it, face it, embrace it, ignore it, scoff it, harness it.

    We, every one, prompt it daily in different ways, though rarely are we revolted, until a life is lost…the ultimate tangible expression of it.

    “Raca”, it is said by many, is the equivalent verbal expression of hate, or even murder. “Raca”, defined contextually as, “you fool”, but more exactly translated, “I judge you to be beneath me”.

    I judge you.

    I hate you.

    I’ve decided you shouldn’t be you or do what you do. I’ve decided you shouldn’t do or exist in my world.

    I am right and I now have power.

    I will manifest this power.

    And now that I have released it…now that I spoke it, that I screamed it, that I sliced it, that I shot it, annihilated it…

    I can pretend that I am not afraid anymore.

    Innocent children commonly cycle through this same process of hate and few judge them. Discipline them, yes, but judge them? Not normally.

    Why?

    Because innocence is openness and is acceptable for a time.

    Children are open. Children thrive on learning and growing. They give development priority over any other morale. Children are not stagnant in their ideals or opinions and we do not resent them for it.

    Children stand for nothing,

    Children fall for anything,

    Children are vulnerable and easily exploitable because they are so near perfect for this reason alone,

    Because they learn…they learn, and in result make null and void any judgment passed upon them,

    And the effect is their unconditional love.

    Death is a slap in the face. It’s a wake up call. It’s the screaming alarm we finally heed when the little judging ditties of those toe-tapping tunes dull our ears to what’s wrong, amidst our otherwise carefully choreographed routines.

    And we only end the day to exalt ourselves above the pain to answer the panic with our own perpetuating versions of “Allahu akbar.”

    My remorse and my shame for my own shadows of odium that I bare in humble apology to the loved ones of the victims of this more recent manifestation of hate in France.

  89. Ankur Agnihotri says:    •   4 years

    Poem Name- Sky’s view from my bed!

    Its 2 AM m still awake,

    Even not ready yet from world to take a break,

    Wanna write something, But getting nothing! Searching for d topic,

    Now m becoming little endoscopic, Grazing at sky,

    N can’t take away my eye! Yaa I got d topic its view from my bed,

    Looking at stars spread, Searching moon,

    Listening to Lilin Park’s in the end tune!

    My neighbor’s wall is hiding half part of it,

    But still its managing to look at me,

    Instead of black d sky is red,

    Or its just a mere illusion of my head,

    Cool breeze is another reason why m loving its view from my bed!

    Feeling like m d only person living,

    As rest r sleeping, Grazing is continuing,

    N still don’t know when it will end,

    But yet wanna say its view is just perfect from my bed!

  90. Ila Varma says:    •   4 years

    Hi,

    This one is not added to your list.

    Pls add.

    Wave of Terror

    Heart Anguished,
    Visions Blurred,
    Throats Parched,
    Voices Lost,
    Minds Dumb,

    Watching People
    Howling,
    Writhing& Succumbing,
    Lying in Pool of Blood,
    In the Wave of Terror.

    Terror Engulfed,
    Lives in Hundreds,
    Instilling Deep Seated Fear,
    In the Innocent Minds,
    Of Millions.
    Speechless & Numb,
    I Pray to God,
    It’s Time for You
    To Descend
    To Stop Atrocities
    Against Humanity
    Defending
    The Beautiful Creation
    Exquisite Nature.
    Amen!
    © Ila Varma 14/11/2015

    Link to the post: http://varmaila.blogspot.in/2015/11/wave-of-terror.html

  91. Vartika Singh says:    •   4 years

    Though I am in India I am completely aware of happenings of people in Paris. I pray for them. I have written this letter for people of Paris, for my brothers in Paris on behalf of whole nation, and hope that this may reach them to inspire them and urge them to stand for themselves.

    LORD BE WITH THEM!

    Dear Beloved Brothers,
    Even though I am quite far away, I can hear your painful agony. I didn’t realize when I got insomnia. Thinking about you day and night, I didn’t realized how my time passed. The day melts away like a snowflake. Still, my mind never gets steady and roams about your side. Every minute that I smile, my mind creates a blurred picture of your face in painful agony and hardships you are facing.

    I am completely aware of your hardships.

    I curse myself for being so helpless for not being able to help you. Even though I pray for you here day and night, I can’t satisfy myself from those shallow consolations. I hurtfully regret for not being able to help you the way I should. But I will keep praying for you until you are here again by my side- safe and secured. I pray to god to give thee my life. I feel like I am living a borrowed time, whatever happened created a dark history. But that was past. Yet, there always a sunshine after sunshine, day after every night and good after every bad. Time, the healer will heal all our wounds. In you every step I am with you. I just wrote this to tell you that don’t feel alone even for a pinch of time. You are my brother and I love you. When sadness fills your heart and memories of your happy days come crashing forth as waves upon sea shore, know that I will always be close at hand to comfort your ailing heart. And we’ll be back again forever. It’s just to tell you that everything that I have is yours. You will never go cold or hungry. I’ll be there when you’re insecure to help you get out of the tragedy.
    Please let me confess I can’t feel the way you must have felt like, when you were smiling and dancing with your family, when you must have been working for them cautiously or must have been tackling your children to make them go to sleep and then abruptly the earth under your feet suddenly started shaking itself. But I feel the way you must have felt, like being stabbed in heart because of your futility to save your loved one’s. Being a father, a son, a brother it was your duty, you must have thought but you were not able to do it the way you should have. Please! I request you, don’t be sad for it. Everything happens for a reason, you know. Life is like a piano, white keys are happiness and black keys are sorrow. But you know that each one of them make music of life. It’s not your fault, so you must forgive yourself. And care for those who are there with you. Also don’t feel alone. Your brother is always with you, forever.
    You are my brother, you can tackle all you problem, together if possible and single handed if needed. I know you have always remained so dauntless that nothing should make you weak and let you fall. Stand for it, fight for it. Look around you! What do you see, how you feel! Can’t see anything! Please see again! I can see you are the most capable one right now, to help yourself. Listen to me, like you hear your inner voice. You live only once and if same things happen again and again then you are not living a life man! Stand up! Wipe your tears and know who you are. You are a powerful being that can face even the wrath of nature. I am doing my best here. I am preparing to receive you. To receive you from a victorious battle, where you fought like a brave warrior. Still remember I am with you, always, forever!
    How I long, to hold my brother back in my arms. You have to come to me, I am with you.

    Yours Loving Brother

  92. moses says:    •   4 years

    Is this the world?
    Where I was born
    Where now innocent blood
    Washes the streets in rivers
    Where in the name of God…
    You know
    Killers find the strength
    To blow brains out

    This is the new world
    God help us
    Give strength to the tears
    That laughter may return
    Give hearts to the chests
    In which hope is lost

    We stand together
    With humanity
    We pray for peace
    We pray even though its dark
    That light shall come
    Be strong brothers and sisters
    Shalom.

  93. Nicky Good says:    •   4 years

    The French heartbreak is now Humanity’s war

    The French carnage is quite simply showing me
    That we as humans are battling the same war
    A war of utter intolerance
    Against each human
    A war that cannot be won in the ways, that first it first began!

    A Human War that is illustrating a message
    A Fearful message,
    Making it hard to share our world in calm
    Instead we now seek disruption
    The kind of disruption, that heads straight into intolerance
    Quickly creating its own moral code,
    Whereby one man’s belief suddenly surpasses the next

    That whether this battle is religious or not
    Matters no more, as we all are to suffer
    The prejudice of being a human being!

    Ironic, as we are of the entire same strain of creation
    And yet we build up, a fortification of indifference
    Harmfully highlighting our diversity

    Now seeing all our brothers & sisters as immoral
    They become our enemies
    As we allow this newly created Fear
    To manifest into a dangerous disgust

    This new found hatred, then resorts into a human war
    Where innocent lives will be extinguished
    From a language of prejudice we all fluently speak

    Instead of utilising the voices given to us
    When each one of our lives was first created
    We choose war, and leave tolerance behind

    Whether this human war, be about God or not
    Shouldn’t matter
    What should matter is to that we respond with LOVE
    From all of our Gods
    Or none at all,
    A Love inbuilt into each human being

    This human battle transcends all religion
    It is bringing into call our Humanness
    Or lack thereof.

    That we are now willing to exterminate our brothers and sisters
    As their culture distils a fear into us?
    That we as humans won’t accommodate diversity
    Perhaps we should all just be the same?

    I am not suggesting an egalitarian approach
    Just a kinder and more tolerant way of realizing
    Our Human-ness is alike
    Just as our beating hearts are the same colour inside

    How much Hate will satisfy us?
    And how much Love will fix this imbalance!
    That questions remains to be answered
    ONLY by us as humans

    The very humans that created this problem
    And one we can only resolve
    With a kindness, We will have to raise
    When finally we decide to be a part of one global tribe
    The tribe of being a Human being!

    1. Lindsay says:    •   4 years

      Well said. Yes.

  94. Perez says:    •   4 years

    A short poem.

    I want to be your friend.

    You hate me because you don’t know me.
    You don’t know me because you don’t talk to me.
    You don’t talk to me because you are afraid of me.
    You are afraid of me because you don’t look my way.
    You don’t look my way because your thoughts lies to you.
    You have build a barrier too high but invisible.

    But maybe, just maybe.
    If you get to know me, you will know.
    That all I truly need is you.
    Your extended hand of friendship.
    Your smile, your love, our peace.
    It’s easy like that. No weapons needed.

  95. Mi Sun Choi says:    •   4 years

    He looks not through their eyes
    For they are closed with solitude
    That prevail the lost land full of cries
    Their souls slaughtered by turpitude

    He listens not to their trumpery
    For the earth and heaven knows their impiety
    The troops shall stand with their country
    For the earth and heaven knows their dignity

    He speaks with dolor to the sun and moon
    Who never forgets once heard
    The sinners’ descending down soon
    Will never forget their depravity once feared

    The river, snow, and rose will also remember
    The beautiful souls lost in thunder fires
    And he, the head of the nation, will honor forever
    Those who were sacrificed in thunder fires

  96. Cheske says:    •   4 years

    Self-bombing!
    Shooting!
    Blood of innocent lives!

    These are the words that come to mind after the countless news reports I have watched about the Tragedy in France. What is happening in this world we live in?
    As a South African I am shocked! I will tell you why. It is not “normal” for “Muslims” to randomly shoot non-Muslims! No. Here in South Africa we experience peace amongst Muslims and Christians. As a matter of fact here is peace amongst all of us whatever religion we may practice. Heck, my best friend is Muslim! And we respect each other’s religions. We share facts regarding our religions with one another. We know that our religions are so very similar and that we both serve one God! It is because we are both such religionists that we are best friends today. May I also add that my friend is the most caring, loving and peaceful human being I know.

    I therefore know that there is no such thing in the Islamic religion that requires of them to kill non-Muslims just because they cannot say a verse from the Quran. This is the reason why I’ve put the word Muslims in quotation marks in the paragraph above. In my eyes the ISIS, as they call themselves, is not Muslim.
    I therefore feel sorry for Muslims like my best friend. I know and they know this is not what they believe in. Most of all I feel sorry for France. The innocent lives taken, cruelly and ruthlessly. I feel sorry for their families! I know the pain you go through when you lose a loved one. A pain you must learn to live with, because, believe me, it never goes away. A pain that is a million times worse than mine, because the death of their loved ones was so cruel and so unnecessary.

    My heart goes out to the other countries which the ISIS has targeted as well. Please know that millions across the world think of you daily and pray for you for protection and peace.

    I am one of those millions.

    Cheske

  97. Anne Davidson says:    •   4 years

    “The Aftermath”

    The sky it seems to,
    lay low where you are.
    For days there have been scars.
    Even your hands can no,
    Longer cradle the stars.

    For they shake, they bleed.
    Cause of such a evil deed.
    Now we shift through the ashes.
    Of our aftermath.

    Broken for all the world to see.
    In that moment our,
    Hearts had surrendered.
    And made us frail and tender.

    Now they open their hearts.
    To help lift us out
    Of the wreckage.
    With loves guiding light.
    We will once again
    shine so bright.

    For its our journey,
    Yet once again.
    To fill the fairytales,
    And to bring the joy
    back to our life.
    One day at a time.

  98. Megan says:    •   4 years

    Paint the town red.

    Let’s go out for a night on the town
    lets see a show, or, you know,
    take in the sights, the lights
    it’s one of those nights
    where anything can happen
    we’ll paint the town red.

    The curtains rise to applause
    and on with the show, you know
    they didn’t expect the heavy tread
    of boots down the aisles, instead
    of cheers, a fusillade, screams and tears
    they paint the town red.

    The blood is still wet and yet
    the war mongers are feeding your hunger
    for a distraction from the daily grind
    but out of sight becomes out of mind
    a world full of rage cannot gauge
    the numbers numb us, how soon we forget
    the town painted red.

  99. ivan johnson says:    •   4 years

    I’ve put some thoughts on the ” how come ? ” , to why people get up to do these horrible acts in a couple posts on my blog on the tags , some thoughts – two cents and some thoughts – three cents , the average Islam Moslem religious person does not believe in / participate in or is part of any ANY act of violence , it is simply not part of their religion . To this , the leaders of iscs are not religious but are masquerading as religious leaders , leading many down the road of violence and destruction . We being the recipients of this violence should help those in need , without hesitant , comfort the lose of the many and not do any knee-jerk , dumb-ass reactions . This a whole , new kind of enemy , therefore requires much study and thought as to how to correctly fight/defend from such as these .
    The sad thing is , this is probably not the last .

  100. Sonu Gohil says:    •   4 years

    Hi Matthew!

    I am glad you came up with the thought of writing about the attacks in Paris. Thanks for setting up ‘Searching for hope after French Tragedy’.

    Pen is mightier than sword and thus, as writers the best we can do is express our thoughts on the catastrophes happening around the globe.

    Coincidently, I just published my recent post on the same and I am glad to share it with you and other writers/readers.

    Here’s are the links – sonudgohil.blogspot.in
    https://m.facebook.com/hopefaithlovebysonugohil/

    All the best for this new endeavour!

  101. Adam Morgan says:    •   4 years

    My wife and I returned from a 10 day trip in Europe 24 hours after the Paris attacks. Our last day was spent in Paris walking in the same places where these attacks occurred. Normally I’m not a fan of asking ‘what if’ questions, but we couldn’t help ourselves.

    What if it was cheaper to book a flight a few days later?
    What if we were the tourists that got caught up in the attacks?

    It sounds cliche, but we are grateful that we weren’t there at the time of the attacks. If we were, I would have been stranded once again.

    When 9/11 happened, my family and I were in Disneyland. The day we were set to leave and come back to Utah, my aunt called and told us to turn on the TV. I awoke very early at about 5:30 to see the plane crash into the World Trade Tower and people jumping off the tower from hundreds of feet in the air.

    Air travel, as you know, was suspended and we stayed an extra week in California. My heart goes out to France and the victim’s families. Nobody should have to go through that.

    We need more love in this world. I’ll close with the following quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.:

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      Excellent quote from MLK, there Adam. That one should be quoted frequently these days.

      Pretty wild how each of those events impacted you so much. Both times you happened to be traveling, or close to it.

      Wow.

      Glad you’re safe. 🙂

  102. ivan johnson says:    •   4 years

    agree 200%

  103. abena magis says:    •   4 years

    I read it on Facebook
    Saw the pictures on Instagram
    Heard the info on the radio
    And froze
    Only one word came to mind
    It came out in a scream, “Dominic!”

    I grabbed my phone
    I swiped to open it
    And nearly banged it on the table
    Frustration was setting in
    But this phone was taking its sweet time to boot

    I opened the Facebook app
    I closed it
    Why don’t I call him?
    I dialed his contact
    I called him
    1,2,3,4,5
    No response

    I could feel the sweat flowing down my spine
    My mind was awash with imaginary scenes
    I needed to talk to my brother
    I needed to know if his family was okay
    I just needed to know they were all safe

    I went back to the facebook app
    I saw the safety check and clicked it
    20 seconds later the app had yet to show that page
    My eyes spied a hammer lying on a table nearby
    I’d just used it to nail a painting
    The temptation to hit the phone with it was high

    I typed, “Dominic, how’re you? Are you and the family okay?”
    My mum followed the post and whatsapped, “Abena, I’m scared.”
    We were all scared but still hopeful
    We had only one brother there
    But surely parents had been lost
    And some kids would be left orphaned

    We rang, whatsapped and texted
    It was a long 2 hours before he replied
    “Abena, we’re all fine.
    Families have been lost, but ours is intact.”

    Tears flowed from my eyes
    Trickled down my cheeks
    Wetting my lips
    And causing my chin to itch

    I was in far away Ghana
    The closest I could witness the event
    Was through photos and videos
    But for the hundreds who witnessed it first hand
    This will be a never ending nightmare

    The world has to wake up
    It is time to end this war of terror
    Animals kill others to survive
    But humans kill other humans
    For fun
    To make a statement
    For revenge

    A sad truth and one that we need to prevent
    Anyway we can

  104. Frederica A. Pierre-Louis says:    •   4 years

    Poem

    The lost souls of the Paris attacks

    They are siblings,
    Victims of terrorist attacks,
    In the twenty-first century

    On November 13, 2015,
    The city of Paris was prey
    Violent Islamic prototypes

    Paris, City of Light,
    Plunged into mourning
    Following the terrorist fireworks

    That day, in the city of Paris,
    A thousand lights ceased to shine,
    Facing the death toll

    An incandescent lamp
    Has exploded in the heart of Paris
    Causing casualties

    A hundred bereaved families
    Mourn the departure of their loved ones’ souls
    In the face of the magnitude of this act of terror

    Today, these souls have fled,
    Far from us, far from France,
    But, their lamps are still illuminated…

  105. Joline Young says:    •   4 years

    ‘The Paris tragedy reminds us once more how fragile life has become. There was also a similar tragedy in
    Beirut and Nigeria, so I would like to focus on all these tragedies. I pray for all the families and friends whose
    lives have been torn apart by these inhumane acts.
    The people who have done these terrible things seem to want to create division and hatred in the world.
    If we react with hatred, then they would have won.
    Let us all reach out for a sense of common humanity. Let us each strive to live each day in a way that will
    bring peace and connectedness to our fellow man. Let us pray for peace.’

  106. Benjamin Young says:    •   4 years

    In attempts to work through mixed emotions, I wrote a poem about the tragic events that transpired in France. It is fictional, but the sadness throughout the piece is what I envision when I think of the manifested hatred that led to such disturbing violence.

    http://spiritedsoliloquy.com/a-night-in-paris/

    Benjamin

  107. Mariah Lightfoot says:    •   4 years

    I see the roses line the street
    Blue, White, and red
    so sickeningly sweet, a bright blood red
    For where each rose lay,
    a body had laid,
    life in the place of death
    blooming,
    Where life hath fade.
    This is the scene, in the city of love and light
    now stricken, dark with strife
    and while the lights flicker,
    they do not go out.
    So thus i kindly scatter,
    to the four winds,
    carrying the souls of the dead,
    seek out thy enemies,
    as they take thy stead.
    So to the petals, lining the street,
    Bring along your hounds, your huntsmen, your vengeance of the dead,
    For your quarry awaits:
    Thy killer, a black mask,
    with hands of red.

  108. Rob Umber says:    •   4 years

    Hey Matt, This is the first real chance I have had to weigh in on this horrible event. When I first heard about these cowardly attacks, I thought about a relative of mine who is a photographer and travels to France frequently. He was in France at the time of the attacks, but later put a post on Face Book saying he was not in Paris and was doing fine. In the eyes of terrorists, there are no innocents nor is there innocence! Everyone, to them, is a potential target regardless of age, sex, creeds or anything else.
    ISIS and Al Qida and Al Shabob and these other militant murder cells have been thumbing their noses at the rest of the world and have been begging the world to come and fight them, I say we give it to them!
    I know it’s easy for me to say this sitting in front of my desk, pecking away at my keyboard but they seem to not heed the classic but deadly warning of ‘Be careful for what you wish for, you might just get it.’ Air power and talk are not doing the job. ISIS is not going away for a while, that’s the unfortunate truth and it is only a matter of time before they do hit America. My point is, I believe it is time the rest of the civilized world stand united against these outfits and start taking the fight to them! Keep hitting them from the air, arm and reenforce the Kurds. Show ISIS that we mean business against them and show those who are thinking on joining ISIS that, that might not be such a good idea now.
    ISIS is evil and needs to be swept away so hopefully one day peace will be restored to that shredded region.
    Peace be with us all.
    Thank you, Matt, have a great day,
    Rob Umber

  109. Cynthia says:    •   4 years

    I know its late! I have written it on November 22nd but did’nt post it here due to its somhow irrelevancy! But Better Late than never 🙂

    https://curioucici.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/an-exceptional-post-for-an-exceptional-occasion-what-you-dont-know-about-lebanon-and-the-lebanese/

    Please give me your feedback!