18 Nov 2015

Many people are talking about Paris. First there was shock and sadness as we became aware that 129 people were killed, and more wounded. 

But not just Paris, two days before that horrible night suicide bombers in Beirut killed 43 people and wounded 249 people. 

What can I say? What can I say that hasn’t been said by more eloquent people or by those more directly involved than I?

I wasn’t going to say anything to be honest, but then I started to notice little things, like articles about how some states in America are refusing to take in any Syrian refugees because of the attacks. Articles about how if you exhibit any sympathy for Paris you are probably a narcissist, or insensitive because you do not acknowledge what happened in Beirut, or if you do you are still insensitive because, what about Africa? and the list goes on.

Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth.

A few months ago I was on my honeymoon in Paris with my beautiful wife.   We scrimped and saved and went without so we could have a dream honeymoon together, and I am pleased to say that we did have a fantastic trip. 

However after seeing where the attacks were, I realised that had the timing had been different, that could have been us. One or both of us could have killed, and that makes me think. 

 I love Paris, it is everything it promises.  I have never been to Beirut, but I know it shares a couple of things with Paris. The first was that once, in happier times, it was once known as the Paris of the Mediterranean, until it was torn apart by war. The second and most important thing Beirut shares with Paris are that it is filled with people. 43 of whom did not deserve to have their lives stolen by a couple of idiots. 

One person who died was Adel Termous, a young father of two, who tackled one of the suicide bombers and saved dozens of people when the bomber prematurely set off his bomb.

Mr Termous’ life mattered, everyone else that was killed in Beirut and Paris, their lives mattered.  If you think what happened in Beirut and Paris was horrific and you want to donate to various charities to provide assistance you can. 

What happened in the last few days is horrible and it can seem that there isn’t much we can do to help or to show we care. But we can, we can light a candle in the dark, hug our loved ones, be nice to our friends, be nicer to strangers, just be courteous is a good start.

That is why if you want to show people that you wish to show solidarity to the people of Lebanon by posting stuff on FB or twitter then do it. If you want to post a picture of peace, or prayer or whatever, then do it. Any symbol or act that shows that you care about the people in our world is a positive act. 

People may say that you are jumping on a band wagon but so what? Have you ever been on a band wagon? I haven’t but it sounds amazing. One, it’s a wagon, and who doesn’t love a good wagon. 

 Bill Watterson rocks

Two, it has a band on it! How awesome does that sound! I mean think of an awesome band, and you are on their wagon!

So let’s take a moment to care about people, and ignore those petty comments or articles that might try and sabotage you.  

On a more fun note if you are feeling a little blue from all the horror in the world watch an uplifting movie.  Here are some suggestions: 

  • The Muppet Movie
  •  Zombieland
  •  The Lion King
  • Amelie
  •  Love Actually 
  • The Breakfast Club
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Blues Brothers
  • Dirty Dancing (my wife's suggestion)
  • The Lego Movie
Just remember people matter, you matter, and as Bill, that great philosopher said “Be Excellent to each other.”