Members of our "community of interest" span many divides. We come from different countries, we're different ages, we speak different first languages, we practice different religions or no religion. But all of us know how it feels when another community we're a part of comes under attack or suffers a disaster or a setback. We often don't acknowledge these events here, only because if we mentioned them all, it would intrude too much on our friendlier talk; it's the reason why I don't write about every death within our community, as well—because then we'd be talking too much of death. Hurricane, forest fire, drought, plane crash, economic calamity, civil unrest or craven terrorist irruption—we might not talk about all of them but we note them with regret, and sympathize.
Our hearts go out to France; our support is with them. Remember the victims and their loved ones first. But have a thought too this morning for the plight of all the innocent and blameless Muslims within our community of friends, who are temperate and moderate and who would never wish such things done in their name, but who might now suffer threat or worse on account of the acts of others who dress like they do or come from the same places or use the same names for God. After the 9/11 attacks there were many incidents of misguided revenge in my country, and these helped nothing and proved nothing. They were crimes on their own.
If we are compassionate, now is the time for our compassion. Remember—now, when it's difficult to keep it in mind—that the worst of any group don't speak for the best of that group, no matter what the crime, no matter the claim.
We'll get back to regular programming tomorrow. I have some interesting and positive things to share with our community...all of our community.
Original contents copyright 2015 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Kaemu: "As a Frenchie thanks for the kind words. My family lives in the neighborhood where the worst happened. My brother went to the Carillon many many times and my sister ate at Le Petit Cambodge on many occasions. They and their family are safe; not so for others we know. The January attacks happened in the same area. I knew some of the victims. Paris's motto is Fluctuat Nec Mergitur...it applies mote than ever."
[Fluctuat Nec Mergitur...translation: "Elle est agitée par les vagues, et ne sombre pas": "She is tossed by the waves but does not sink" (Wikipedia). —Ed.]
Jérôme Buiret: "Merci."
Romano Giannetti: "One (former) student of mine has been killed in the attacks. So near...so young. But I think we should not even mention religion here. The religion of people doing that kind of thing has the same relevance, in my opinion, that the fact that Mengele was a medical doctor. Thank you for the mention."
Thomas Paris: "Thank you, Mike. And thanks everyone. My thoughts to those who died and to those who've suffered. I was glad, as I was walking the streets of Paris yesterday [Saturday —Ed.], to see that there were just as many people in the streets as usual. People who looked like they just wanted to go back to their normal lives. I saw some people standing in front of two of the cafés where the shootings had happened, while others were standing on Place de la République, nearby, where a huge crowd had gathered after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, just a few months ago.
"All in all, while you could tell something terrible had happened, and people were not going to forget it easily, Parisians were telling the crazies they would not win. Thanks again everyone for your support."