This probably will not be well received.

Tragedy typically provokes two types of responses; compassion and fear.  I’ve been exceptionally careful about how and what I have posted on social media in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France.  As a human being with an unbelievable capacity for empathy, my heart aches.  Hundreds of people innocently went out on a Friday night with no fear or inclination that they would never make it home.  These people were parents, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, coworkers, friends, and significant others with heartbeats, souls, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, favorite coffee cups, and so much more.  I have never been to Paris, and what happened yesterday did not change my every day life.  But, I care deeply about the senseless loss of human life.  I ache for those who are left with the void of losing a loved one.  I am profoundly sorry.

That being said, I am not scared.

I am not scared of radicals.  I am not scared of an entire religion based on the heinous acts of less than 1%.  I will not be scared into believing that 1.6 billion people want my death because of the images I am fed.  I know who and what the threat is and that it is real.  Very, very real.  I acknowledge the danger of an unchallenged, unchecked ISIS because I am neither foolish nor naive.  I will not use the loss of 129 souls for political expediency before their families can even begin to mourn.  Because it’s not about my beliefs, it’s not about how I feel about immigration or gun control or war.  I understand these are real conversations and conversations that must be had, but at this moment, these are the conversations of the removed.  These are the conversations of those of us who are safe in our homes tonight, sleeping next to someone we love, texting someone we haven’t lost, thinking about what we will do with our day tomorrow when we wake.

Because we will wake.  129 innocent, beautiful lives will not.

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Published by

Alena Hughes

Man, you should see the lengths my husband goes to in order to make sure I never get hungry. That's all you need to know about me.

2 thoughts on “”

  1. Thank you. This is one of many terrorist attacks that have taken place recently, and unsurprisingly, those that have taken place in predominately Muslim countries are ignored while we show extreme solidarity with France, one of our closest political allies.
    But we are right in showing solidarity and we are right in sending our love and support to those suffering.
    But our mistake is in condemning Islam, the fastest growing religion in the world, for the attacks of a few extremists. These people do not represent Islam any more than extreme radicals who commit violent acts on the US represent Christianity.
    The most valuable thing I learned in studying world religions is that religious beliefs of all kinds promote love, acceptance, personal morality and peace. This is true of all major religions. They also offer meaning in the face of tragedy, an explanation of the purpose of life, the prospect of happiness in the face of death, and a means of personal and spiritual growth. In my dark times I hate religion and blame it for the violent extremism it creates. But I have been educated on the tremendous value religion holds in society, and I respect the ideals of religion and the meaningful rituals it can provide that bring true comfort to believers.
    I know that all major religions value human life. Islam included. And I know that it is in the interest of all humanity to deeply value all human life. People who murder in the name of religion, politics or ideology are deeply misguided and lacking in empathy. Those people are responsible for these unbelievable attacks. And our best steps forward are in embracing our humanity, our fragility, our impermenance. Loving those who are lost because they could have been any one of us. Mourning them with respect instead of using their deaths to condemn others.

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    1. Well this comment is infinitely better than anything I wrote, that’s for sure. Thank you for saying the part about predominately Muslim countries suffering these attacks regularly and how they are largely ignored. Very, very important point.

      Like

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