Saturday, March 31, 2012

All that matters

Warning, I'm gonna be a bit of a downer here...

You no doubt heard about the tragic loss of life last week in France. Seven people, three of whom were young children, were gunned down by a man who was acting based on very radical religious beliefs. It affected all of us, French or not, Jewish or not, Muslim or not, parents or not. I remember hearing the news about the school shooting, imagining the gorgeous blue sky we'd had that morning, the mild temperatures. It started out as a picture perfect Monday, and folks were taking their kids to school. They never imagined what nightmare was awaiting them.

That night I felt kind of down, and as Remi watched Lethal Weapon (he has action movie radar, I'm telling you), the violence and gunshots started getting to me. Reminding me of the weapons that terrorist had used on innocents that morning. But my brain started getting into the good guy versus bad guy story, and I wanted to believe that the good guys could win.

Later that week the murderer was found and surrounded in his apartment. He talked of giving himself up, and also of wanting to die with a gun in his hand. In the end, it's the latter that came true.

Nothing can replace those precious lives lost, and I can only send out prayers to the families. But one good thing might have come of all this. Because this man shot some Muslim soldiers living in France (though he was Muslim himself), there was grief in both the Muslim and Jewish community. There was something of a coming together of these two communities and also the moderate Muslims wanted to make sure that their faith was not tarnished by this one radical man's behavior. I even asked the two Muslim guys in my class what they thought and they said that their religion says when you kill someone, you kill a part of humanity.

And, like any tragedy will do, things become sharper, more in focus for those of us who go on with our lives. Hugging our loved ones at the end of the day is really the most precious gift of all, and more important than any grade or what's for dinner or on TV that night.

Still, it does make me wonder, why this old world of ours can be so very cruel. And the hardest battle is staying positive despite all the blackness. I'll let wordsmith Neil Finn finish this post for me:

Hey now, hey now, don't dream it's over...


Crystal said...

A hard post to write, I'm sure. I think we were all quite affected by recent events in France. The state of the world makes me so sad sometimes...

Just try to stay positive and focus on the things that matter. You know what they are :)

Lindle said...

We either cover our heads and look away, or pursue the goodness. When the despair takes over, we are lost.
I remember Alistair Cooke's much quoted piece: "In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway. So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly, that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place: the opportunity to do good work, to enjoy friends, to fall in love, to hit a ball, and to bounce a baby.”

There simply HAS to be MORE than the bad. But we have to protect the world from the bad whenever possible.