peace sign

I was too young to remember 9/11 so the attacks on Paris yesterday is the first geographically close terrorist attack that has really affected me.

As I sit here today, I try to gather my thoughts about life and the human race. About the horrible atrocities that have occurred yesterday. My mind races with never ending thoughts and my heart aches with feelings of anger and sadness.

I feel so conflicted about the world today.

You look at Mother Nature’s greatness and it is breathtakingly beautiful. Next you see the humans that inhabit this Earth. This is where my mind races. I want to believe in the goodness of people, but people make it so goddamn hard. I am young but I am not naive. Yet, I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that a human being can aim a gun into crowds of other human beings and pull the trigger relentlessly.

What makes you God? What makes you decide if someone, or an entire population or race, should live or die? It might seem childish but I literally just do not understand why we live in a world full of such hatred. We are living in terror, when we should be living in peace and love. Why does one country have to have all power in the world? You don’t gain power through terrorizing others. It’s not even power they should be after, what about respect? You can gain respect other sensible ways.

It just blows my mind how someone can look into another person’s eyes and intentionally hurt or murder them. A person just like them. Someone with a family. Someone with the rest of their life ahead of them, but you have the right to take that away from them? No. You don’t.

What makes any one person any different from another? We all are made up of the same biological factors. We all have emotions and beliefs about the world. So what if people are practicing a different religion than you do? So what if people live their lives in a different manner? What does it matter to you? How is it affecting you in a negative way?  It’s not. Let people live their lives how they want to.

So now I sit here and I think, wow I sound like such a hypocrite. Obviously these people are just living their life how they want to. I get that. But what the difference is what they are doing affects everyone in the entire world negatively. They are living their lives the way they want to by murdering innocent people every day. That’s what’s wrong. It’s not the same as someone going to a concert enjoying the music they like. It’s not the same as a family taking a vacation to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

I know me ranting about how we all should let people live their lives won’t help any. But I was Paris not even a month ago and I have friends who were in Paris only a mile away from an attack yesterday night. Currently, I am less than 200 miles away from Paris. That’s closer than the distance between my home and where some of my family lives. I am less than 60 miles away from London, a city that very well could be threatened. As much as I try not to worry, by human nature (if that’s even a thing anymore), I can’t help it.

All day, in my mind, I have been haunted by the faces of the people I encountered while I was in Paris and I have to wonder to myself if they are alive right now. No, they aren’t people I am close with but I can remember their faces perfectly. I can picture the look on the woman’s face who sold me a ham and cheese baguette. I picture the brown hair of the woman who led our tour of the Eiffel Tower and the tan skin of the man who waited our table later that night. These people all right in city center and there’s a chance they were a victim of these attacks.

I can’t get their faces out of my head.

To add to my reflection on the day after the attacks – the Pray for Paris Snapchat. Why is this a thing? A hashtag on Twitter is one thing. A photo or filter on a photo is another. But to take your own photos of the wreckage of bombings or to video yourself lighting a candle, is an entirely different thing. This angers me to no end. I honestly haven’t got the slightest clue as to why this is even a thing. There is no point to make a Snapchat story about such a horrific event. These stories are normally show happiness in holidays, cities, or sporting events. Just, why? What is the purpose?! I’m sure some people will say the same about me blogging my feelings about the attacks but that’s besides the point. Blogging is a way to share your thoughts.

On a different note

I only have a few weeks left here in Europe. I have trips planned in these next few weeks. Unfortunately, there’s a high chance I might miss these opportunities of travel due to the recent attacks. Hell, there’s even a chance my flight home could be affected which would be worse. This could put me out of a few hundred dollars and experiences I will never have the chance to take again. All because these people can’t let others live their lives in peace. I will keep posted about my travels of course.

A light at the end of the blog post

Violence like this is what makes people, including me, lose faith in humanity. So to close with a light at the end of the blog post, here’s a video and a few photos of random acts of kindness to restore at least some of your faith.

Shoes

military

groceries

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jennaguillaume/moments-that-restored-our-faith-in-humanity-in-2014#.dp0bzvMJK

Thanks for reading my vent session.

pray for paris

R.I.P. to all the lives lost