We all have our daily struggles – I know I do. But the problems and situations that we have to deal with in our lives everyday definitely pale in comparison to those which are even worse, and which can almost bring a single city or nation – or even an entire continent – to its knees. The terrorist attack in Paris, France this past Friday which resulted in the deaths of 129 people so far (with the body count possibly increasing soon) was no more heartbreaking and shocking than what New York City and Washington, D.C. experienced over fourteen years ago – and is unlikely to disappear from a generation’s consciousness anytime soon.
If the terrorist attack in Paris (and 9/11) taught us anything, it’s that the world we live in has become far more dangerous than we realized – and that our own personal problems are miniscule, compared to the even bigger picture that we can’t ignore, including the important details that are a part of it. And the deaths of 129 victims in Paris force us to stare at our mortality, while shattering the delusional belief that such a tragedy could never happen in our own communities – or even repeat itself countless times. And to stand behind this kind of wishful thinking is both unrealistic and impossible – especially when you look at such tragedies from the viewpoints of the victims and their families, with the latter group having to endure a lifetime of emotional grief and ponder not only what happened, but also what might have been had the victims not been murdered in cold blood.
Perhaps someday, the world might be finally be at peace – and free of both hate and violence. And yet, that’s also wishful thinking – and will probably remain so, until all of us make it a reality. Because we know that the world’s problems will never go away simply by wishing about it – even the more violent ones which overshadow and overwhelm even the tiniest of our own personal conflicts.
©2015 John Lavernoich.